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July 6, 2016

Extremists Make Plans For GOP Convention

Updated July 21, 2016

The GOP convention in Cleveland (July 18-21) is a key opportunity for a range of extremists and bigots who seek publicity to voice their support or opposition to Donald Trump – and their hatred for anyone who disagrees with them.

As the Anti-Defamation League has noted, the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign – and one candidate in particular – has elicited unprecedented levels of engagement and enthusiasm among anti-government and white supremacist extremist groups.

The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has been monitoring extremists’ plans to attend the Republican convention in Cleveland and has shared this information with federal law enforcement agents managing security for the event. We will share new information with those agents as it becomes available.

The following list of expected attendees is varied, ranging from individuals to organized groups. This reflects the support (and sometimes opposition) Donald Trump receives from a wide range of extremists. It should be noted, there is no indication that Trump  supports these groups.

  • Richard Spencer, who heads the National Policy, a small white supremacist think tank, traveled to Cleveland to promote his racist views. Spencer held up a sign saying “Wanna Talk to a ‘Racist’? and reportedly said he “wanted to demystify white separatism” for the people he encountered in the public square near the convention. Spencer also reportedly attended the “Wake Up!” party hosted by conservative activists, which included controversial speakers such as Milos Yiannopoulos and anti-Muslim activists Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch politician.
  • Members of the anti-refugee vigilante group Soldiers of Odin USA, spotted outside the convention hall in Cleveland, told a reporter they were there as a “community watch” organization and had no plans to confront anyone unless they sensed “imminent danger.” While they claim not to be racist, the Soldiers of Odin USA are in fact virulently anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant. The group originated in Finland, but has attracted thousands of members and admirers here in the United States, many of whom are either white supremacists or anti-government extremists.
  • Anti-government conspiracy theorist Alex Jones spoke at a rally for Trump near the convention hall hosting the RNC, where he accused “globalists” of trying to implement a “world government.” Jones runs the Infowars website where he promotes  conspiracy theories such as the idea that the government is behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks and  is trying to strip Americans of their rights, especially their rights to free speech and to own firearms.

  • The Traditionalist Worker Party is an anti-Semitic, white supremacist group run by Matthew Heimbach and Matt Parrott.  They report­edly filed per­mits to march in Cleve­land but later announced alternative plans. Heimbach showed up outside the convention anyway, voicing his disapproval for Trump, whose policies “don’t go far enough” in advancing white nationalism, and urging followers to write in George Lincoln Rockwell, founder of the American Nazi Party.

  • Westboro Baptist Church: Five members of the venomously anti-gayand anti-Semitic Kansas church plan to be in Cleveland to protest the Republican Party and to warn attendees of the “imminent judgment”
    Westboro Baptist Church members at a protest

    Westboro Baptist Church members at a protest

    facing the United States. WBC members are best known for picketing the funerals of fallen U.S. soldiers, carrying signs celebrating their deaths (because God hates America’s evil ways). Members of the church are equal opportunity bigots: They also plan to protest at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. Expect to see them carrying their usual signs – expressing their boundless, unmoored hatred for everything from gay rights to Israel.

  • Blood and Honour USA: This racist skinhead group is the American chapter of a loose international confederation of hardcore racist skinheads.  Some members of Blood and Honour USA have in the past committed violent acts.  One of the group’s lead­ers announced on social media that he and a num­ber of other mem­bers would be in Cleve­land sup­port­ing Trump and wear­ing t-shirts bear­ing the Totenkopf (death’s head) – a sym­bol used by the SS in World War II.

    William Johnson of American Freedom Party

    William Johnson of American Freedom Party

  • American Freedom Party: This white supremacist group is headed by attorney William Johnson. Johnson made headlines in the spring of 2016 with his “robocalls” to voters in crucial primary states, entreating people to “defend the white race” by voting for Trump, and again in May when it was revealed that he was on the list of Trump delegates for California. Blaming a “database error,” the Trump campaign removed Johnson from its list, but AFP responded with this gleeful Facebook message:  “…here’s what they don’t know: we have more delegates!”
  • David Riden (Trump delegate from Tennessee): Member of the anti-government Patriot Movement. Riden has said he believes members of the current U.S. government deserve to be killed for “abusing the Constitution.”
  • Jim Stachowiak:  Member of the anti-government Patriot Movement. This right-wing, rabidly anti-Muslim extremist from Georgia will be in Cleveland to support Donald Trump, and has called upon “all military veterans, law enforcement veterans, followed by three-percenters, patriots,” to “come lawfully armed with lethal and non-lethal weaponry,” has advocated for Mecca to be bombed, and has made not particularly veiled threats against Black Lives Matter activists, whom he refers to as “terrorists.”  Stachowiak, a former university public safety officer turned militia fan boy and online radio host, has been arrested several times.

    malik-zulu-shabazz-hashim-nzinga-charleston-south-carolina-june-2015-350x234

    The New Black Panther Party at a protest in Charleston, South Carolina

  • The New Black Pan­ther Party: The NBPP will be in Cleve­land to protest against Don­ald Trump. In the days lead­ing up to the con­ven­tion, the pro­foundly anti-Semitic, black supremacy group will hold a series of protests and work­shops in part­ner­ship with Black Lawyers for Jus­tice, which is headed by for­mer NBPP leader (and cur­rent “spir­i­tual advi­sor”) Malik Zulu Shabazz. The NBPP, which is known for its calls for vio­lence against law enforce­ment, has announced plans to carry guns dur­ing its protests in Cleve­land. The New Black Pan­ther Party is not affil­i­ated with the orig­i­nal Black Pan­ther Party, whose mem­bers have harshly crit­i­cized the NBPP for “hijack­ing” the orig­i­nal group’s message.
  • Anti-Muslim activsts: Pro-LGBT conservative activists are hosting a party called “Wake Up“ at the Republican Convention in Cleveland on July 19. The event will feature anti-Muslim extremist Pamela Geller and Milo Yiannopoulos, a controversial figure who reportedly made anti-Semitic comments in the past about Jewish control of banks and the media. Other featured speakers include Geert Wilders, a well-known anti-Muslim Dutch politician, and Ann Coulter, a political commentator known for her extreme anti-immigrant position. According to a post on the personal blog of Pamela Geller, “The party is the outcome of discussions among a group of gay Republicans following the tragic massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando in June.” This appears to be an attempt to promote an anti-Muslim agenda among this group of pro-LGBT conservatives.
  • The Oath Keepers will be on the ground in Cleveland, ostensibly to “help” patrol the area, as they did with long guns during the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, following the shooting death of Michael Brown. The anti-government extremist group’s website has denounced “radicals’” plans to protest at the convention, and calls for volunteers to participate in “Operation North Coast,” an “intelligence gathering” effort. This hyper-militarized language is typical of the Oath Keepers, who recruit from the military and law enforcement in their efforts to build a force capable of resisting “government overreach.”

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June 28, 2016

The Hate Group Behind the Sacramento White Supremacist Rally

A coterie of racist skinheads and other white supremacists staged a rally at the state capitol in Sacramento, California, this past weekend, a rally that degenerated into a bloody brawl when the racists were attacked by a larger group of left-wing counter-demonstrators. At least 10 people were reportedly injured.

Racist skinheads involved in Sacramento rally

White supremacists who participated in Sacramento rally

Both sides came prepared for a fight, after a previous brawl in southern California earlier in the year, and both sides declared “success” after the fracas, but it is the white supremacists who most benefit from the free publicity that such violent generates “We stood our ground. We’ll be back,” promised one white supremacist after the Sacramento event. That was Matthew Heimbach who, with fellow racist Matt Parrott, organized the rally from afar.

Heimbach and Parrott are the leaders of a new hate group, The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), which claims to be the “political arm” of their earlier white supremacist endeavor, the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), but seems to be supplanting it.

Their rally is part of a greater effort by Heimbach and Parrott to unite different racist groups under their umbrella to promote white nationalism and a white ethno-state. TWP advertised the event as a rally “against globalization and in defense of the right to free expression.” Plans for the rally had been in motion since April and TWP secured a permit to hold the event at the Sacramento State Capitol.

Traditionalist Worker Party graphic publicizing Sacramento rally

Traditionalist Worker Party graphic publicizing Sacramento rally

The group also claimed the rally was, in part, a response to anti-racists, minorities and immigrants who protested at events in California held by presidential candidate Donald Trump. TWP organized the demonstration along with the Golden State Skinheads, a racist skinhead group allied with TWP.

TWP was created after a largely unsuccessful effort by Heimbach and Parrott to attract young people to white nationalism through the Traditionalist Youth Network. Unable to recruit many college students to his group, Heimbach turned instead to building alliances with neo-Nazis and racist skinheads. In 2013, he attended a gathering in Kentucky featuring the racist skinhead Aryan Terror Brigade, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement and several Ku Klux Klan groups.

Since then, Heimbach has conducted more outreach to racist skinheads and neo-Nazis, particularly established groups like the Golden State Skinheads in California and the Keystone State Skinheads/Keystone United in Pennsylvania.

The Golden State Skinheads (GSS), founded in 2003, is a California-based racist skinhead group with members from throughout the state.  They claim to be “a social club of California white nationalists… banned [sic] together for the survival of our people and our beliefs.”  However, previous versions of their website “about us” page stated that they “oppose multi-culturalism, globalization and Zionism, adding “our ultimate goal is to establish a state owned and inhabited exclusively by the white race where we may peacefully exist and prosper governing ourselves without alien influence.”

GSS has coordinated a number of white power concerts and social events throughout the state, including joining other white supremacist groups such as California Skinheads, Blood and Honor, and American Freedom Party in June 2015, in Bakersfield, for a white power gathering dubbed Camp Comradery 2015 [sic].  Heimbach, already tied to GSS, was a main speaker at the event.

TWP has also been active on the East Coast. In February 2016, TWP co-hosted an event with the Keystone State Skinheads/Keystone United in Harrisburg. Two months later, the TWP’s first official mid-Atlantic chapter meeting, held in Philadelphia brought in some 20 attendees and featured Heimbach and long-time Keystone State Skinhead Steve Smith as speakers.

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May 7, 2015

Point of Contention: A Fractured White Supremacist Take on Immigration

richard-spencer-brick-wall

Richard Spencer has advocated for a white ethno-state

For over a hundred years, since the Ku Klux Klan of the early 20th century loudly proclaimed its commitment to “100% Americanism,” fighting immigration has been one of the most consistent hallmarks of white supremacists in the United States. For many, immigration was nothing less than a sinister Jewish plan to flood America with non-whites and thereby weaken and ultimately destroy the white race.

Because of strongly held convictions such as these, it is no surprise that white supremacists have so often been at the forefront of anti-immigration activism. From Ku Klux Klan members holding anti-immigration protests to neo-Nazis engaged in vigilante patrols along the U.S.-Mexican border to closeted white supremacists setting up “mainstream” anti-immigration organizations, these groups have consistently been a major segment of America’s extreme anti-immigrant fringes.

Yet the evolution of the white supremacist movement in the United States reveals an interesting phenomenon. Though white supremacists remain united in their intense dislike of immigration and their belief in its alleged danger to the white race, clear divergences of opinion have emerged among them about how they ought to respond—or, indeed, whether they ought to respond at all.

It may be too generous to call them “schools of thought,” but several clear approaches to the issue of immigration now clearly exist among white supremacists, each essentially stemming from a different set of opinions on how to “preserve” the white race.

The differing approaches include:

  • Continuing actively to fight against immigration by attempting to mobilize fearful or angry whites using rhetorical strategies that include a focus on changing demographics in the United States;
  • Abandoning the active fight against immigration to focus instead on creating white enclaves within a multicultural United States, where whites could live with and support each other in a sort of voluntary self-segregation; and
  • Also giving up on fighting immigration into the United States but going a step further by creating a separate ethno-state for whites only—an independent white “homeland.”

Each of these viewpoints is reflected in the ideas or writings of an advocate. Though white supremacists have different approaches to the subject of immigration, all are ultimately reacting to the projection that whites will become a minority in the United States in the coming decades.

Read the full article: Point of Contention: A Fractured White Supremacist Take on Immigration

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