Friday, September 30, 2022

Southern Poverty Law Center Patriot Front

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One In Five Patriot Front Applicants Claim Military Ties

FOX 13 Investigates: Patriot Front arrest documents talk checkpoints and smoke

Roughly one in five applicants to the white supremacist group Patriot Front claimed to hold current or former military status, according to leaked documents reviewed by Hatewatch.

The journalist collective Unicorn Riot leaked archives of Patriot Fronts private chats on Jan. 21. Patriot Front held these conversations on Rocket Chat, an open-source chat program, where they published 87 different applications for membership. The applications show that 18 of those 87 applicants claimed to be current or former members of the U.S. military. One of the applicants, who claimed to be a former Marine, also stated in his application that he currently works for the Department of Homeland Security .

Hatewatchs finding from the leak comes amidst growing public concerns about the radicalization of people serving in the U.S. military. Observers have noted an over-representation of military-affiliated people involved in storming the U.S. Capitol building on Jan. 6, 2021. A House panel convened on Oct. 13, 2021, to address concerns about the recruitment and radicalization of military personnel.

Dates of events mentioned in the leak match Hatewatchs observations of Patriot Fronts public facing activity. Rousseau, Patriot Fronts leader, appeared on a podcast hosted by neo-Nazi Joseph Jordan on Jan. 28 and acknowledged the authenticity of the leak, while seeking to downplay its significance. He claimed responsibility for his members being exposed in the material.

Lawsuits And Criticism Against The Splc

In October 2014, the SPLC added Ben Carson to its extremist watch list, citing his association with groups it considers extreme, and his “linking of gays with pedophiles”. Following criticism, the SPLC concluded its profile of Carson did not meet its standards, removed his listing, and apologized to him in February 2015.

In October 2016, the SPLC published its “Field Guide to Anti-Muslim Extremists”, which listed the British activist Maajid Nawaz and a nonprofit group he founded, the Quilliam Foundation. Nawaz, who identifies as a “liberal, reform Muslim”, denounced the listing as a “smear”, saying that the SPLC listing had made him a target of jihadists. In June 2018, the SPLC issued an apology, stating:

Given our understanding of the views of Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam, it was our opinion at the time that the Field Guide was published that their inclusion was warranted. But after getting a deeper understanding of their views and after hearing from others for whom we have great respect, we realize that we were simply wrong to have included Mr. Nawaz and Quilliam in the Field Guide in the first place.

Along with the apology, the SPLC paid US$3.375 million to Nawaz and the Quilliam Foundation in a settlement. Nawaz said about the settlement that Quilliam “will continue to combat extremists by defying Muslim stereotypes, calling out fundamentalism in our own communities, and speaking out against anti-Muslim hate.” The SPLC ultimately removed the Field Guide from its website.

Klan Membership Continues To Drop

The Southern Poverty Law Center attributed the decline in hate group numbers in 2020 to several factors, including the halt to in-person activities due to the pandemic, their migration away from mainstream social media and the continuing collapse of the Ku Klux Klan, a group long associated with white supremacy, as younger extremists move into newer groups that dont carry the same stigma. Some trends:

  • There were only 25 active Klan chapters in the United States in 2020, down from 47 from the year prior and compared with as many as 150 active Klan chapters in years past.
  • There were 128 active white nationalist groups in 2020, down from 155 the year prior, but the SPLC said that may be because as neo-Nazi groups with similar ideologies coalesce, theyre more difficult to quantify.
  • The number of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and anti-LGBTQ hate groups remained largely stable, though in-person organizing was curtailed due to the pandemic.

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Denials From Van Dyke

Hatewatch emailed Jason Lee Van Dyke and asked him to comment on his relationship to Patriot Front, his apparent displacement of Gleason, and his history of membership in extremist groups.

Like Gleason, Van Dyke denied being a member of Patriot Front, and denied any ongoing involvement in far-right politics.

There was a time in my life when I was involved in the far-right movement, Van Dyke wrote, adding, That period was from 1998 to 2018, dating the end of his political activities to the Proud Boys kicking me out was the best thing that ever happened to me.

Van Dyke, however, has issued contradictory denials of involvement with extremist groups over a number of years. In December 2020, he told reporters who first revealed that his vetting interview had been recorded that I simply dont recall having these conversations. I dont know the source of these recordings.

Patrick Riccards is executive director of Life After Hate, a nonprofit that helps people leave violent far-right groups. In a telephone conversation, Riccards told Hatewatch that Van Dykes behavior did not comport with that of individuals who successfully leave far-right movements.

Riccards said that if he had genuinely left, Van Dyke would likely alienate his clients in Patriot Front, and that as a general rule, there are trust issues if you are not one of them. He added, if youre not a soldier, its hard for you to gain their trust.

Cooperation With Law Enforcement

Suprematisti bianchi in marcia nel cuore di Washington senza incidenti ...

The SPLC cooperates with, and offers training to, law enforcement agencies, focusing “on the history, background, leaders, and activities of far-right extremists in the United States”. The FBI has partnered with the SPLC and many other organizations “to establish rapport, share information, address concerns, and cooperate in solving problems” related to hate crimes. In a November 2018 briefing of law enforcement officials in Clark County, Washington, concerning the Proud Boys FBI agents suggested the use of various websites for more information, including that of the SPLC.

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Find Out What’s Happening In Annapoliswith Free Real

  • American Free Press, general hate, Upper Marlboro
  • Barnes Review/Foundation for Economic Liberty, general hate, White Plains
  • Great Millstone, general hate, Baltimore
  • Help Save Maryland, anti-immigration, Rockville
  • In the Spirit of Chartres Committee, radical traditional Catholicism, Glenelg
  • Israel United In Christ, general hate, Upper Marlboro
  • Israelite Church of God in Jesus Christ, general hate, Baltimore
  • Israelite School of Universal Practical Knowledge, general hate, Baltimore
  • Israelite The Branches, general hate, Baltimore
  • Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, KKK ideology, statewide
  • Noble Klans of America, KKK ideology, statewide
  • Patriot Front, white nationalist, statewide
  • Refugee Settlement Watch, anti-Muslim, Fairplay
  • The Base, white nationalist, statewide
  • Watchmen for Israel, general hate, Baltimore

At least eight people from Maryland have been arrested in connection with the Capitol Hill riots.

An FBI spokeswoman said the agency most recently arrested 42-year-old Elias Costianes in Nottingham Thursday on charges related to the riot at the United States’ Capitol.

Indianapolis Officials Say White Nationalist Group Didnt Need Permit To March But Never Notified City Of Plans

Members of the white nationalist group Patriot Front marched through downtown Indianapolis on Saturday, Sept. 3, 2022.

Brendan Bow /via Twitter

City officials say the white nationalist group that marched through downtown Indianapolis Saturday would not have needed a permit to do so, but the group gave no notice of its plans.

A now-viral video posted to Twitter showed some 70 members of the Patriot Front, identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a designated hate group, marching through the streets with a banner that read Reclaim America.

A campaign volunteer for Democratic 5th congressional district candidate Jeannine Lee Lake posted the video. Lake said seeing the march was disheartening.


Brendan Bow

It makes me very sad to see. I thought we were past some of that stuff here in Indiana. And in America, she said.

Lake said plans are underway for a counter-demonstration sometime next weekend.

We need to collectively, as leaders send them a message publicly to say dont come here with that, she said. We dont know if they are from Indiana, we dont know if they are from Indianapolis, or if they came from outside, because these cowards put a sheet over their head and marched so they wouldnt be recognized.

Both Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett and the Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police released statements condemning the march.

Goldenberg said free speech is protected in the U.S., but Patriot Front pushes messaging that is meant to incite.

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A New England Network

Patriot Front has been labeled as a white supremacist group by both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. The group drew attention to themselves this summer after a public march through downtown Boston and by posting hundreds of racist flyers throughout the state over the course of the year.

The group has a large organizational structure with top leaders overseeing a handful of region-specific networks that contain smaller clusters which may only have a small number of people. The networks can encompass multiple states like the New England network, which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Within the New England network, there are clusters that center around cities or suburbs like Greater Boston or within the city itself.

The group showed up in force over the Fourth of July weekend when roughly 100 members dressed in blue shirts, khaki pants, and face masks marched through downtown Boston carrying American flags, riot shields, and banners reading Reclaim America.

The group was founded in 2017 by Texas native Thomas Rousseau after the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia. The group splintered off from another neo-Nazi organization, Vanguard America, after a months-long feud between Rosseau and Vanguard American leader Dillion Irizarry, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Brown V Invisible Empire Kkk

7 arrested Patriot Front members from Texas | FOX 7 Austin

In 1979, the Klan began a summer of attacks against civil rights groups, beginning in Alabama. In , Klan members clashed with a group of civil rights marchers. There were a hundred Klan members carrying “bats, ax handles and guns.” A black woman, Bernice Brown, was shot and other marchers were violently attacked. In Brown v. Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, filed in 1980 in the USDC Northern District of Alabama, the SPLC sued the Invisible Empire, Knights of the Ku Klux Klan on behalf of plaintiffs, Brown and other black marchers. The civil suit which was settled in 1990, “required Klansmen to pay damages, perform community service, and refrain from white supremacist activity.” Chalmers wrote in Backfire, that the Klan had been in serious decline since the end of the 1970s. He described the “Klan summer of 1979”, as a “catastrophe” for the Klan, as the SPLC’s newly established Klanwatch, which became a “powerful weapon” that “tracked and litigated” the Klan.:112 According to Chalmers, “eginning with the Decatur street confrontation, the SPLC’s Klanwatch began suing various Klans in federal court for civil rights violations”, and as a result, the Klan lost credibility and its resources were depleted.:112 As a result of the SPLC, the FBI reopen their case against the Klan, and “nine Klansmen were eventually convicted of criminal charges” related to the Decatur confrontation of 1979.

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Theme #: Whiteness Is American

The Patriot Front believes being an American has very little to do with citizenship.

The implication that one’s American blood is inherited echoes “birtherism” claims against former President Barack Obama, Hughey said. Though the 44th president was born in the United States, he was viewed as “quintessentially un-American… And that was because of his blackness.”

Where do we see this in the manifesto?

  • “Those of foreign birth may occupy civil status within the lands occupied by the state, and they may even be dutiful citizens, yet they may not be American. Membership within the American nation is inherited through blood, not ink. Even those born in America may yet be foreign.”
  • “Nationhood cannot be bestowed upon those who are not of the founding stock of our people, and those who do not share the common spirit that permeates our greater civilization, and the European diaspora.”

Wu Says Boston Will Work To Be Prepared For Future Hate Group Demonstrations

Law enforcement was caught off guard by a white supremacist group’s demonstration in Boston last weekend, according to Boston Mayor Michelle Wu.

Both Wu and U.S. Attorney for Massachusetts Rachael Rollins said they were told by Boston Police and the FBI that neither agency had advance warning that about 100 members of the group Patriot Front planned to march through downtown Boston wearing face coverings.

Investigators said they are now reviewing video recordings from the scene to identify members who allegedly assaulted a Black person.

Wu said the city needs to be better prepared for the next time there’s a public demonstration by a hate group.

“We will continue to work in partnership with community members as we strategize and plan and coordinate to respond to not one-off incidents, but this growing rise and trend in white supremacy and hate,” she said.

Rollins said her office is “working hard” to determine if there are any federal or state charges that can be brought against the group.

“We don’t want to wait until there is violence,” she said. “If there are threats, we will charge those as well.”

Patriot Front is a white supremacist group with chapters in over 40 states including Massachusetts, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Thirty-one members were arrested in Idaho last month following a tip they were planning to attack a Pride event.

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United Klans Of America

In 1987, SPLC won a case against the United Klans of America for the lynching of Michael Donald, a black teenager inMobile, Alabama. The SPLC used an unprecedented legal strategy of holding an organization responsible for the crimes of individual members to help produce a $7 million judgment for the victim’s mother. The verdict forced United Klans of America into bankruptcy. Its national headquarters was sold for approximately $52,000 to help satisfy the judgment. In 1987, five members of a Klan offshoot, the White Patriot Party, were indicted for stealing military weaponry and plotting to kill Dees. The SPLC has since successfully used this precedent to force numerous Ku Klux Klan and other hate groups into bankruptcy.

Veterans Group Presses State And Local Prosecutors To Go After Far

Hates in the mail, and its up to us all to speak against it ...

WASHINGTON A military veterans organization is calling on prosecutors to get more aggressive with the Patriot Front, a far-right, white supremacist group that has been marching in cities across the country, arguing existing laws provide the authority needed to bring criminal charges against its members.

Task Force Butler, an organization founded by U.S. Army veteran Kristofer Goldsmith with the tagline “Veterans Fighting Fascism,” published a report this week that identifies members of the Patriot Front and specifies criminal statutes it says can be used against them.

The report, shared exclusively with NBC News, has been sent to various local and state law enforcement officials in an effort to “hold Patriot Front legally accountable for their politically and racially-motivated harassment of vulnerable minority communities, their terrorizing of local residents in cities and towns throughout the United States, their acts of violence, and their use of American cities as backdrops to showcase for the media and the nation the ethno-nationalist agenda.”

Goldsmith, who said he worked with 10 volunteers on the 200-plus-page report, is hoping to spur action by detailing what he says is evidence against dozens of Patriot Front members, in addition to laying out a road map for prosecution.

A year earlier, in Philadelphia, police detained but did not arrest members of the group after members of the public disrupted their march.

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Whose Hate Crime Data Is Best

Hate crimes and those who commit them are defined differently by the FBI and Southern Poverty Law Center, and critics say the latter organization recklessly endangers peoples lives with broad definitions that lump conservative and extremist groups together, according to a report by The Washington Post.

The Southern Poverty Law Center tracks hate group activity by reviewing their publications in direct reports from citizens, police agencies, field sources and the news media and through its own investigations. It defines a hate group an organization or collection of individuals that based on its official statements or principles, the statements of its leaders, or its activities has beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.

Absent full participation, the Anti-Defamation League says the total severity of the impact and damage caused by hate crimes cannot be fully measured. It pointed out on its website that 86 percent of 15,000 participating agencies didnt report a single hate crime to the FBI. Among them were at least 71 cities with populations over 100,000.

The Sikh Coalition has asked Congress to improve hate crime data collection, and the Arab American Institute says hate crimes against targeted groups are massively underreported.

Does The Patriot Front Ideology Parallel Other Movements

The manifesto appears to incorporate various ideologies, including anti-Semitism, nativism and white supremacy, according to Dr. Thomas Pegelow Kaplan, the director of Judaic, Holocaust, and Peace Studies at Appalachian State University.

Rhetoric about replacement and white genocide caught Kaplan’s attention. Fears of enslavement and extermination mirrors Nazi propaganda wielded against “Judeo-Bolshevism.” These concerns stemmed from the belief that Germans would be enslaved in Siberia.

Assertions of cultural annihilation and a need to unite against people who were Jewish, members of the LGBTQ community, communists and more could be found in Hitler’s rhetoric, according to Kurt Mayer Chair of Holocaust Studies at Pacific Lutheran University Beth Griech-Polelle. She observed a similar disdain for politics in both the manifesto and Hitler’s speeches.

Blood and soil analogies used throughout the manifesto paralleled Nazi ideologies, as do fears of globalism , according to Kaplan. Griech-Polelle noted language regarding citizenship and blood that falls directly in line with Nazi ideologies. Citizenship largely revolved around having “German blood” while Jewish individuals typically lost out on the same privileges. Similarly, she pointed to Nazi fears of Jewish immorality and concerns about modernity.

Ultimately, Hughey argued Patriot Front and similar groups are aware of how they are portrayed, attempting to avoid being marked as supremacists.

“As if that’s somehow better.”

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