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Photo from rally turns focus toward NM native – Santa Fe New Mexican

In the search for answers after a white supremacist rally in Virginia devolved into deadly violence Saturday, attention turned to a New Mexican.

Dillon Hopper, a native of Roswell, heads the far-right organization Vanguard America that seemed in the chaos of the moment to have some sort of link to the man police say drove a car into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, leaving one woman dead.

Photos showing the suspected driver marching alongside the groups members earlier in the day placed the organization, once described as insignificant, as well as the leader credited with helping build it, at the center of national outrage.

Vanguard America has denied the man charged with murder in Saturdays attack was a member of the group before he showed up at the rally and says it does not condone criminal activity.

But the episode nonetheless shines a light on a white supremacist leader homegrown in New Mexico.

Only a few years ago, Hopper, 29, seemed like a local boy who had made good.

A 2013 column in the Amarillo Globe-News recounted how an elderly Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer inspired Hopper to join the Marine Corps. Hopper enlisted in Albuquerque and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he won a promotion to staff sergeant, he invited his former big brother, living at the time in the Texas Panhandle, to do the pinning the feel-good occasion for the newspaper story.

Hopper later became a Marine Corps recruiter. But while in that role, it appears he also helped build a white supremacist group.

In April of this year, Hopper stood before a gathering of white supremacists in Kentucky and touted his work as head of Vanguard America, an organization that had become part of an effort to recast the racist far-right as mainstream.

Hoppers service with the Marines ended in January, according to federal records. But thats several months after the Anti-Defamation League says he took charge of Vanguard America.

The group had grown out of online message boards and a split with the members of another similarly named white supremacist group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.

By early 2016, Hopper was leading the organization, and under him, it has espoused an ideology increasingly aligned with neo-Nazis, said Carla Hill, an investigative researcher at the Anti-Defamation League.

A spokesperson for the Marine Corps declined to specify what kind of discharge Hopper had received, indicating he had not been court martialed. But in an email, the Marine Corps said that involvement in extremist groups is grounds for separation.

Association or participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isnt tolerated by the Marine Corps, Capt. Philip Kulczewski said when asked about Hoppers service records.

Vanguard Americas manifesto depicts America as a country built in the image of the Roman Republic and now on the verge of collapse. Its manifesto blames multiculturalism, arguing that America should be an exclusively white nation.

Using the right-wing slogan blood and soil, Vanguard America romanticizes a notion that people with white blood hold a special bond with American soil. The Anti-Defamation League links that philosophy to the German slogan blut und boden popularized under the regime of Adolf Hitler.

Hill said the group was formerly regarded as insignificant in white supremacist circles. But it has grown in recent years, she added, with a particular focus on recruiting young men.

They are flowering on college campuses, Hill said, pointing to numerous reports of the groups stickers and fliers appearing at universities as well as members participating in white supremacist events.

In a video of his speech to a gathering of the Nationalist Front in Kentucky this year, Hopper declared that the future is about the youth. The group has taken to social media, calling on white people particularly white men to be proud of their race while also attacking minorities ranging from LGBT people to immigrants. It has targeted Jewish communities, its members known for having once hung an anti-Semitic banner from a Holocaust memorial in New Jersey.

Vanguard Americas promotional videos show young men marching in military formation wearing the white polo shirts and khaki pants that have become their uniform.

Members must be presentable, the groups website has said, and white Europeans. They cannot be felons or identify as gay or transgender, which the group describes as sexual degeneracy.

The Anti-Defamation League describes the group as having some paramilitary qualities, with small, active chapters in 13 states. Earlier this year, Hopper claimed the organization boasts about 200 members in 20 different states.

Hopper, who changed his last name from Irizarry in 2006 but uses that name in connection with Vanguard America, has said the group grew out of California about two years ago. Military records show he was last stationed at Camp Pendleton.

Vanguard Americas members were among the organizers of the rally by white supremacists in Virginia last weekend, billed as a protest against plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville.

In a march the night before the event, a crowd carrying lit tiki torches chanted the groups slogan blood and soil.

And on Saturday, the so-called Unite the Right rally erupted into violence between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators, reaching a horrifying low when a man plowed his car into a crowd.

The crash killed a local woman and injured several other people.

Police identified the driver as James Alex Fields, 20, and photos from earlier in the day show him marching with members of Vanguard America. He was dressed in the trademark white polo shirt and khaki pants and carried a shield depicting a symbol associated with the group.

A spokesperson for Vanguard America said Tuesday that Fields did not have any prior links to the group but said that Hopper was not available for an interview.

Unfortunately due to safety concerns our leader and president Dillon Hopper will not be conducting any interviews in relation to his connection to New Mexico the state he currently resides in, the organization said in an email, declining to answer further questions about how Hopper became involved with Vanguard America.

Hopper told the news website Splinter that he had not attended the event in Charlottesville.

Unclear is whether Hopper indeed lives in New Mexico.

While Roswell is known as a conservative bastion, the Anti-Defamation League has not received any reports of activity by the group inside the state. And New Mexico, a state where about half the population is Hispanic, is not known as a center for white supremacist groups.

Filings in a probate case in Roswell earlier this year listed Hopper with an address in Indiana. Court records indicate his mother died earlier this year but he has a brother living in the state.

Unclear, too, is whether Vanguard America will weather the fallout from a killing that riled the country.

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Photo from rally turns focus toward NM native – Santa Fe New Mexican

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Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language – New York Times

The movements self-professed goal is the creation of a white state and the destruction of leftism, which it calls an ideology of death. Richard B. Spencer, a leader in the movement, has described the movement as identity politics for white people.

It is also anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and opposed to homosexuality and gay and transgender rights. It is highly decentralized but has a wide online presence, where its ideology is spread via racist or sexist memes with a satirical edge.

It believes that higher education is only appropriate for a cognitive elite and that most citizens should be educated in trade schools or apprenticeships.

Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the alt-left. Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and anything vaguely left-seeming that they didnt like.

Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term.

It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network, Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. Its just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they dont like fake news.

On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said the alt-left was partly to blame for the Charlottesville violence, during which a counterprotester, Heather D. Heyer, was killed.

The alt-light comprises members of the far right who once fell under the alt-right umbrella but have since split from the group because, by and large, racism and anti-Semitism are not central to its far-right nationalist views, according to Ryan Lenz, the editor of Hatewatch, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Members of the alt-right mocked these dissidents as the alt-light.

The alt-light is the alt-right without the racist overtones, but it is hard to differentiate it sometimes because youre looking at people who sometimes dance between both camps, he said.

The two groups often feud online over the Jewish Question, or whether Jews profit by secretly manipulating the government and the news media.

Antifa is a contraction of the word anti-fascist. It was coined in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s by a network of groups that spread across Europe to confront right-wing extremists, according to Mr. Pitcavage. A similar movement emerged in the 1980s in the United States and has grown as the alt-right has risen to prominence.

For some so-called antifa members, the goal is to physically confront white supremacists. If they can get at them, to assault them and engage in street fighting, Mr. Pitcavage said. Mr. Lenz, at the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the group an old left-wing extremist movement.

Members of the alt-right broadly portray protesters who oppose them as antifa, or the alt-left, and say they bear some responsibility for any violence that ensues a claim made by Mr. Trump on Tuesday.

But analysts said comparing antifa with neo-Nazi or white supremacist protesters was a false equivalence.

Cuck is an insult used by the alt-right to attack the masculinity of an opponent, originally other conservatives, whom the movement deemed insufficiently committed to racism and anti-Semitism.

It is short for cuckold, a word dating back to the Middle Ages that describes a man who knows his wife is sleeping with other men and does not object. Mr. Lenz said the use of the word by the alt-right often had racial overtones.

S.J.W. is short for social justice warrior and is used by the right as an epithet for someone who advocates liberal causes like feminism, racial justice or gay and transgender rights. It is also sometimes used to imply that a persons online advocacy of a cause is insincere or done for appearances. It became widely used during GamerGate, a controversy that began in 2014 over sexism in video game subcultures.

Mr. Lenz, whose organization has specific criteria for which groups it classifies as Nazi organizations, said the right used the phrase to rhetorically address the fact that the left sometimes calls anyone who disagrees with it Nazis. He said the alt-right had created the term so its followers had a similar blanket term to deride the left.

Video taken at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday showed marchers chanting blood and soil. The phrase is a 19th-century German nationalist term that connotes a mystical bond between the blood of an ethnic group and the soil of their country.

It was used as a Nazi slogan in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s and since then has been transported to neo-Nazi groups and other white supremacists around the world, Mr. Pitcavage said. It is one of several Nazi symbols that have been adopted as a slogan by some members of the alt-right.

Globalism is sometimes used as a synonym for globalization, the network of economic interconnection that became the dominant international system after the Cold War. The word has become more commonly used since Mr. Trump railed against globalism frequently on the campaign trail.

For the far right, globalism has long had distinct xenophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic overtones. It refers to a conspiratorial worldview: a cabal that likes open borders, diversity and weak nation states, and that dislikes white people, Christianity and the traditional culture of their own country.

White genocide is a white nationalist belief that white people, as a race, are endangered and face extinction as a result of nonwhite immigration and marriage between the races, a process being manipulated by Jews, according to Mr. Lenz. It is the underlying concept behind far-right, anti-immigration arguments, especially those aimed at immigrants who are not white Christians.

The concept was popularized by Bob Whitaker, a former economics professor and Reagan appointee to the Office of Personnel Management, who wrote a 221-word mantra on the subject that ended with the rallying cry: Anti-racist is code word for anti-white.

Mr. Pitcavage said the concept of white genocide was often communicated online through a white supremacist saying called the Fourteen Words: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.

The saying was created by David Lane, a white supremacist sentenced to 190 years in prison in connection with the 1984 murder of the Jewish radio host Alan Berg.

A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2017, on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa, Cuck: A Brief Glossary of Extremist Terminology.

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Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language – New York Times

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ADL chief says Charlottesville car-ramming resembles terror attacks against Israel – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The head of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday the fatal car-ramming that claimed a young womans life in Charlottesville, Virginia resembled the kind of terror attacks Israel has long experienced.

Appearing on MSNBC, Jonathan Greenblatt was asked to explain the recruiting techniques that white nationalist groups use to attract more people to its cause.

Extremism is a problem in any form, he said. Islamic extremists. Left-wing extremists. But right-wing extremists, like other fringe groups, they try to exploit disaffected young people at an early stage in their lives.

At this point, he was interrupted by the shows host, Stephanie Ruhle, who said the method Greenblatt was describing reminded her of Islamist terrorist organizations. That sounds like the same description you hear when we talk about ISIS recruiters, she said, using a common acronym for Islamic State.

Greenblatt agreed with Ruhles assessment. He went on to say that car rammings in particular have been a common practice for terrorists in the Middle East and Europe.

In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. (Alan Goffinski via AP)

Its very similar, he said. Its no accident that the car ramming took place. This young man [Alex Fields Jr.] who murdered the innocent Heather Heyer [was] using the same technique of car ramming that has terrorized Tel Aviv, terrorized France, Germany.

Its domestic terror. he said. So if it quacks like a duck and it walks like a duck, guess what? Its a duck.

Since the Saturday incident, in which the 20-year-old Fields killed Heyer and injured 19 others in the car attack, as hundreds of white nationalists marched the streets of Charlottesville with Nazi, KKK and confederate insignia, several US officials have condemned the episode as an act of terror.

A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP)

Certainly I think we can confidently call it a form of terrorism, US President Donald Trumps national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said Sunday on NBCs Meet The Press. What terrorism is is the use of violence to incite terror and fear, and of course it was terrorism.

But quite notably, Trump himself has not made a similar declaration. As a candidate, he repeatedly castigated his predecessor, Barack Obama, for not using the phrase radical Islamic terror.

When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? he tweeted on November 15, 2016, after an Islamic State attack in Paris, France. He cant say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved!

Trump also outraged many when he did not condemn white nationalists during his first remarks about the rally on Saturday, when he also blamed many sides for the violence that transpired.

It was not until two days later, amidst intense pressure and constant negative media coverage, that he begrudgingly said racism is evil and directly called out the racist groups who organized the rally to protest the citys plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.

Those who cause violence in its name are criminal and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans, Trump said.

On Monday, the Justice Department said it was opening a civil-rights investigation into the death of Heyer, who was murdered by Fields when he ran a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of people protesting the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

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ADL chief says Charlottesville car-ramming resembles terror attacks against Israel – The Times of Israel

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In Wake of Virginia Violence, San Diego Jewish Community ‘Stands Up to Hate’ – Times of San Diego

Share This Article: The Anti-Defamation League, Leichtag Foundation and the San Diego RabbinicAssociation are hosting a forum called No Place for Hate. Photo courtesy ADL

In the the aftermath of thedeadly white nationalist violence in Virginia, the Anti-Defamation League, Leichtag Foundation, and the San Diego Rabbinic Association are hosting a Stand Up to Hate forum on Tuesday, Aug. 15.

The event at 7 p.m.will be held at the Lawrence Jacobs Jewish Community Center in La Jolla at 4126 Executive Drive. It will address White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and all other forms of hate and extremism.

Speakers will include (list continually updated): Congressman Scott Peters Rabbi Nadav Caine, Ner Tamid Synagogue; Chair, San Diego Rabbinical Association Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Yael Ridberg, Dor Hadash Synagogue Rabbi David Singer, Hillel of San Diego

Parking will be available in the JCC lot and overflow parking in the structure directly across from the JCC Executive Drive entrance.

Please arrive at 6:30 p.m. and leave non-essentials at home due to security checks.

In Wake of Virginia Violence, San Diego Jewish Community Stands Up to Hate was last modified: August 15th, 2017 by Debbie L. Sklar

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In Wake of Virginia Violence, San Diego Jewish Community ‘Stands Up to Hate’ – Times of San Diego

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It may not be ripe for a large white supremacist rally, but there’s hate in CT – The CT Mirror

MARKESHIA RICKS / New Haven Independent

Nearly 300 people gathered Sunday at Chapel and Church streets in New Haven, one of several rallies around the state to protest white supremacist violence and hate.

Washington Connecticut may not be fertile ground for a white supremacist rally like the one that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va., but the state is not immune to hate.

The Southern Poverty Law Center, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., says there are several active hate groups in the state.

Perhaps the leading white supremacist figure fromthe stateis KennethZrallack, described by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the founders of the White Lives Matter movement, a small network of hardcore white supremacists with connections to a variety of hate groups.

Zrallack and his brother Matthew organized the Connecticut White Wolves shortly after their graduation from high school in Stratford. In 2004, ADL called the group a collection of racist skinheads that has grown into the largest and most active extremist group in the state, promoting an ideology espousing hatred of Jews and racial and ethnic minorities.

Members, though typically young, have been involved in a number of criminal acts in Connecticut and have forged ties with nationally recognized hate groups, including the National Alliance, the Creativity Movement, White Revolution and the Ku Klux Klan, the ADL said.

The White Wolves seemed to disband after Ken Zrallack was arrested in 2010 and charged withconspiring to sell guns and hand grenades to an FBI informant brokering a deal for a Ku Klux Klan offshoot. A jury acquitted him of those charges.

Zrallack then became one of the very first activists in the White Lives Matter movement in the spring of 2015, the ADL said. That movement was a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement that grew out of frustration at a spate of police killings of black youth.

A chapter of the ACT for America in Cheshire is also considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.

The center said that in the nine years since it was founded by Brigitte Gabriel, ACT, which stands for American Congress for Truth, has grown into far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America.

The group says it is planning a number of America First rallies across the nation on Sept. 9.

The nationalgroup has condemned the violence in Charlottesville, which resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer.

MARKESHIA RICKS / New Haven Independent

Jesus Morales-Sanchez, an organizer with Unidad Latina en Accion, speaks to the crowd Sunday in New Haven.

ACT for America stands squarely with the rights of all Americans to peacefully rally on behalf of their own beliefs, or in opposition to those of others, Gabriel said. Heather Heyer was murdered for her beliefs, and we join in sorrow with her family and friends. Her killer will be brought to justice, and while that cannot undo what has been done, it sends a powerful signal to the forces of hate and intolerance that they will be dealt with swiftly and according to the American rule of law.

The third Connecticut hate group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center is a black separatist organization known as the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The SPLC calls the organization a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.

Connecticut is more likely to hold rallies in support of those who are the targets of hate groups, like it did in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, said Steve Ginsburg, ADL Connecticut regional director.

He said white supremacists are not a real force in Connecticut, but there are people in every state with extremist ideologies who connect with others over the Internet.

I dont think we are ripe to be the next Charlottesville, but I could be wrong, Ginsburg said.

The state legislature voted unanimously this year to toughen Connecticuts hate crime laws. But still, there is evidence of hate in the state.

In February, hundreds of printed fliers from a white supremacist group were found on driveways and in mailboxes along the Newtown Turnpike in Weston, Wilton, Westport and Norwalk. The fliers read, We must secure the existence of our race and a future for white children. Make America White Again.

There are also dozens of hate crimes reported each year to the state police, a requirement of Connecticuts hate crime laws.

Reports from 2003 to 2012 show a slight increase in hate crimes, with 166 reported in 2012.

But the FBI says that two-thirds or more of these types of crimes go unreported.

Tom Condon / CTMirror.org

An anti-hate rally in West Hartford Sunday

Bridgeport author Andy Piascik, who has written about the Ku Klux Klans history in Connecticut, said its difficult for the United States to shake off the white supremacist movement.

The ideology of white supremacy is a central aspect of U.S. history, he said. The society was founded on the slavery of African Americans and we live with that legacy today.

The Ku Klux Klan appeared first in Connecticut in the 1920s, he said, when there was concern about continued immigration of Italians, Poles and Jews from Europe, increasing labor unrest and large socialist and anarchist organizations who tried to appeal to everyone.

The latest Klan rallies in the state occurred in the early 1980s, but counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the marchers.

Today, counter-protesters in Connecticut would significantly outnumber the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Piascik said.

The sort of KKK-type groups are likely to be small in Connecticut, Piascik said. But look at how quickly they came out of the woodwork (in Charlottesville.) They want to announce to the world we are here.

Steve Thornton, a retired labor organizer in West Hartford who has written about fascism in America, predicted the violence in Charlottesville is going to spur more, not fewer, hate crimes.

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It may not be ripe for a large white supremacist rally, but there’s hate in CT – The CT Mirror

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Pennsylvania fifth in nation for hate groups – Allentown Morning Call

Pennsylvania is home to more than three dozen hate groups ranging from local chapters of the Ku Klux Klan and a violent skinhead group to anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim organizations, according to a national watchdog group that tracks extremist organizations.

In its annual Intelligence Report, released in February, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported the number of hate groups had surged nationally to 917 in 2016, within 100 of the all-time high recorded in 2011.

Forty of the groups were in Pennsylvania, making it the fifth most active state behind California (79), Florida (63), Texas (55) and New York (47), according to SPLC.

Theres no question about it that theres a decent white supremacist presence all throughout the state, said a senior investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia, who asked that his name not be published because of the nature of his work.

But, he cautioned, white supremacist and other hate groups are difficult to quantify because they exist in shadows and are often little more than clusters of like-minded people who ascribe to the ideology of a larger group. Such pockets of hate group activity exist throughout the state, in urban areas including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and rural places like Potter County, in north-central Pennsylvania, where one of the nations largest neo-Nazi groups has a regional headquarters.

Much of the activity is private or anonymous, such as distributing leaflets in neighborhoods or on college campuses, but in the last year Pennsylvania white supremacist groups have staged public events.

In November, about 50 members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement held an anti-diversity rally on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, drawing about 200 counter-protesters and dozens of police in riot gear, according to published reports. And in May, the East Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan drew attention and protests after their announcement they would burn a cross in rural Lancaster County, although the event happened on private property, according to news reports.

The presence of hate groups in the Lehigh Valley has been visible this year with the arrest of several men following an April raid by federal agents on the home of a known skinhead leader in Phillipsburg, N.J. Federal authorities charged Joshua Steever, 37; Henry Lambert Baird, 49, of Allentown; and Jacob Mark Robards, 40, of Bethlehem and three other men from Maryland and Virginia with drug and weapons trafficking conspiracy.

They were members, prosecutors allege, of Aryan Strikeforce, a skinhead white supremacist organization active throughout Pennsylvania. Steever, Baird and Robards have been convicted of violent felonies, according to court records. Prosecutors allege they transported and sold what they believed was methamphetamine and parts of automatic weapons to earn money for the group.

That was a substantial blow to that organization, but it hasnt made Aryan Strikeforce dissolve altogether, the Anti-Defamation League researcher said.

The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the following hate groups active in Pennsylvania:

peter.hall@mcall.com

Twitter @phall215

610-820-6581

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Pennsylvania fifth in nation for hate groups – Allentown Morning Call

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FBI arrests Oklahoma man after anti-government bomb plot at local bank – PBS NewsHour

Jerry Drake Varnell, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on Aug. 14, 2017. Photo by Oklahoma Department of Corrections via Reuters

The FBI has arrested an Oklahoma man who took actions to develop and detonate what he thought was a vehicle bomb targeted at a local bank, the Department of Justice said.

Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, was arrested early Saturday morning in Oklahoma City after he was flagged by the FBI in a long-term undercover investigation the agency says revealed the extent of his hatred against the government.

According to court documents, the FBI opened a domestic terrorism investigation when an unnamed source told the agency they believed Varnell was planning to blow up a federal building in Washington, D.C. An undercover FBI agent kept in touch with Varnell via encrypted texts and Facebook messages, offering assistance to advance a plan to assemble an explosives-laden vehicle and drive it to downtown Oklahoma City, the DOJ says.

After Varnell attempted to detonate his bomb which the DOJ said was inert and posed no danger to the public the FBI arrested him.

The DOJ said Varnell initially planned to target the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., among other buildings in Maryland and Texas. The unnamed source who approached the FBI said Varnell expressed his anger with the government as well as a desire to develop and arm a small militia group, according to the complaint.

According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Varnell was charged with attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in this case, the BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of imprisonment if convicted, the DOJ said in a statement released Monday.

A spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys office says Varnell has not yet been indicted; the office will seek an indictment within the next 30 days.

If the bombing was successful, Varnell had planned to have a message posted on Facebook referencing the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh, the court documents said.

What happened in Oklahoma city was not an attack on America, it was retaliation. Retaliation against the freedoms that have been taken away from the American people, the would-be message said.

In his conversations with the FBI agent, Varnell said he followed the ideology of the Three Percenters, one of the nations largest armed right-wing groups that pledges resistance against the U.S. government. The group is named after the incorrect notion that 3 percent of the colonies population fought in the American Revolution.

The Anti-Defamation League has said that more than 10,000 people identify with the right-wing group, the NewsHour reported in April.

NewsHours P.J. Tobia looks at why armed militia groups are surging across the nation.

Varnell said in one conversation with the undercover agent in June that he wanted to do something that would somehow cripple the government. Something that sends a message that says, You are a target.’

When the agent, at one time, raised the possibility of deaths from the explosion, Varnell responded, You got to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet. Varnell later said he wanted to conduct an attack after closing hours to limit the amount of casualties, the complaint said.

READ MORE: Judge denies bond for suspect in Charlottesville attack at white nationalist rally

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FBI arrests Oklahoma man after anti-government bomb plot at local bank – PBS NewsHour

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Connecticut no stranger to political protests – WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

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NEW HAVEN (WTNH) The alt-right has had a presence within the state of Connecticut.

Last month, the far right political group known as The Proud Boys faced off with demonstrators on the New Haven Green. Four people were arrested for disorderly conduct.

Earlier this year, an anti-black slur was found on a Stamford interracial couples garage.

Related Content:Stamford couple faces possible arrest for refusing to remove racial graffiti

The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says that, although the main groups that were involved in the Unite the Right protests and riots have members theyve tracked locally, the groups are not active.

I cant promise that something like this wont happen here in Connecticut and there arent people who might form groups to tie in with what happened in Charlottesville. But I also know there are hundreds and thousands of people who will form groups to combat and confront that ideology, Steve Ginsburg, Director of the ADL-CT regional office said. The overwhelming sense from our leaders here in Connecticut and the populous is that is not who we want to be.

Related Content:New Haven Green political protesters identified

According to the ADL, there have been 10 anti-Semitic incidents in Connecticut since April. Nationally, there has been an 86% increase.

Hate crimes and convictions have stayed fairly static in the past few years, according to the state.

In June, Connecticut unanimously passed one of the strongest hate crime bills in the country, which makes any hate crime a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor.

Related Content:Hate crime bill passes Connecticut State Senate

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Connecticut no stranger to political protests – WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

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Anti-Defamation League calls for Trump to ‘denounce white supremacy in all forms’ – WJLA

President Donald Trump walk up to the podium to speak to members of the media regarding the ongoing situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

The Anti-Defamation League is asking for President Donald Trump to “clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms” following the violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left multiple dead and injured.

President Donald Trump condemned the violence in Charlottesville on Twitter hours before he addressed the incident during a press conference in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.”

Many have said they were not satisfied with the President’s response.

The ADL says they support Trump’s condemnation but wants him to “name the hate” according to their CEO Jonathan Greenblatt.

Below is Greenblatt’s full statement:

“The gathering of extreme hate yesterday in Charlottesville is something we have not seen in at least a decade and it continues a troubling pattern: these extremists are emboldened and are making every effort to exploit their visibility for their hateful cause.

Now is the time for our leadership across the board to name the hate.

This is a moment that demands moral leadership. President Trump should acknowledge that this is not a matter of equivalence between two sides with similar gripes. There is no rationalizing white supremacy and no room for this vile bigotry. It is un-American and it needs to be condemned without hesitation.

We call on the White House to terminate all staff with any ties to these extremists. There is no rationale for employing people who excuse hateful rhetoric and ugly incitement. They do not serve the values embodied in our Constitution nor the interests of the American people.

We expected this to be the largest white supremacist gathering in the last decade. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the most violent as well. ADL has been sounding the alarm about domestic terrorism and hate crimes in America. This consistent threat requires consistent resources.

It is long overdue for the President to develop a plan of action to combat white supremacy and all forms of hate, including investing funds in countering violent extremism from all ideological corners. We stand ready to partner in this effort. Without a clear denunciation and plan of action, these bigots are only emboldened.”

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Anti-Defamation League calls for Trump to ‘denounce white supremacy in all forms’ – WJLA

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Photo from rally turns focus toward NM native – Santa Fe New Mexican

In the search for answers after a white supremacist rally in Virginia devolved into deadly violence Saturday, attention turned to a New Mexican. Dillon Hopper, a native of Roswell, heads the far-right organization Vanguard America that seemed in the chaos of the moment to have some sort of link to the man police say drove a car into a group of anti-racist demonstrators, leaving one woman dead. Photos showing the suspected driver marching alongside the groups members earlier in the day placed the organization, once described as insignificant, as well as the leader credited with helping build it, at the center of national outrage. Vanguard America has denied the man charged with murder in Saturdays attack was a member of the group before he showed up at the rally and says it does not condone criminal activity. But the episode nonetheless shines a light on a white supremacist leader homegrown in New Mexico. Only a few years ago, Hopper, 29, seemed like a local boy who had made good. A 2013 column in the Amarillo Globe-News recounted how an elderly Big Brothers Big Sisters volunteer inspired Hopper to join the Marine Corps. Hopper enlisted in Albuquerque and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. When he won a promotion to staff sergeant, he invited his former big brother, living at the time in the Texas Panhandle, to do the pinning the feel-good occasion for the newspaper story. Hopper later became a Marine Corps recruiter. But while in that role, it appears he also helped build a white supremacist group. In April of this year, Hopper stood before a gathering of white supremacists in Kentucky and touted his work as head of Vanguard America, an organization that had become part of an effort to recast the racist far-right as mainstream. Hoppers service with the Marines ended in January, according to federal records. But thats several months after the Anti-Defamation League says he took charge of Vanguard America. The group had grown out of online message boards and a split with the members of another similarly named white supremacist group, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. By early 2016, Hopper was leading the organization, and under him, it has espoused an ideology increasingly aligned with neo-Nazis, said Carla Hill, an investigative researcher at the Anti-Defamation League. A spokesperson for the Marine Corps declined to specify what kind of discharge Hopper had received, indicating he had not been court martialed. But in an email, the Marine Corps said that involvement in extremist groups is grounds for separation. Association or participation with hate or extremist groups of any kind is directly contradictory to the core values of honor, courage and commitment that we stand for as Marines and isnt tolerated by the Marine Corps, Capt. Philip Kulczewski said when asked about Hoppers service records. Vanguard Americas manifesto depicts America as a country built in the image of the Roman Republic and now on the verge of collapse. Its manifesto blames multiculturalism, arguing that America should be an exclusively white nation. Using the right-wing slogan blood and soil, Vanguard America romanticizes a notion that people with white blood hold a special bond with American soil. The Anti-Defamation League links that philosophy to the German slogan blut und boden popularized under the regime of Adolf Hitler. Hill said the group was formerly regarded as insignificant in white supremacist circles. But it has grown in recent years, she added, with a particular focus on recruiting young men. They are flowering on college campuses, Hill said, pointing to numerous reports of the groups stickers and fliers appearing at universities as well as members participating in white supremacist events. In a video of his speech to a gathering of the Nationalist Front in Kentucky this year, Hopper declared that the future is about the youth. The group has taken to social media, calling on white people particularly white men to be proud of their race while also attacking minorities ranging from LGBT people to immigrants. It has targeted Jewish communities, its members known for having once hung an anti-Semitic banner from a Holocaust memorial in New Jersey. Vanguard Americas promotional videos show young men marching in military formation wearing the white polo shirts and khaki pants that have become their uniform. Members must be presentable, the groups website has said, and white Europeans. They cannot be felons or identify as gay or transgender, which the group describes as sexual degeneracy. The Anti-Defamation League describes the group as having some paramilitary qualities, with small, active chapters in 13 states. Earlier this year, Hopper claimed the organization boasts about 200 members in 20 different states. Hopper, who changed his last name from Irizarry in 2006 but uses that name in connection with Vanguard America, has said the group grew out of California about two years ago. Military records show he was last stationed at Camp Pendleton. Vanguard Americas members were among the organizers of the rally by white supremacists in Virginia last weekend, billed as a protest against plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from a park in Charlottesville. In a march the night before the event, a crowd carrying lit tiki torches chanted the groups slogan blood and soil. And on Saturday, the so-called Unite the Right rally erupted into violence between white supremacists and anti-racist demonstrators, reaching a horrifying low when a man plowed his car into a crowd. The crash killed a local woman and injured several other people. Police identified the driver as James Alex Fields, 20, and photos from earlier in the day show him marching with members of Vanguard America. He was dressed in the trademark white polo shirt and khaki pants and carried a shield depicting a symbol associated with the group. A spokesperson for Vanguard America said Tuesday that Fields did not have any prior links to the group but said that Hopper was not available for an interview. Unfortunately due to safety concerns our leader and president Dillon Hopper will not be conducting any interviews in relation to his connection to New Mexico the state he currently resides in, the organization said in an email, declining to answer further questions about how Hopper became involved with Vanguard America. Hopper told the news website Splinter that he had not attended the event in Charlottesville. Unclear is whether Hopper indeed lives in New Mexico. While Roswell is known as a conservative bastion, the Anti-Defamation League has not received any reports of activity by the group inside the state. And New Mexico, a state where about half the population is Hispanic, is not known as a center for white supremacist groups. Filings in a probate case in Roswell earlier this year listed Hopper with an address in Indiana. Court records indicate his mother died earlier this year but he has a brother living in the state. Unclear, too, is whether Vanguard America will weather the fallout from a killing that riled the country.

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Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa: A Glossary of Extremist Language – New York Times

The movements self-professed goal is the creation of a white state and the destruction of leftism, which it calls an ideology of death. Richard B. Spencer, a leader in the movement, has described the movement as identity politics for white people. It is also anti-immigrant, anti-feminist and opposed to homosexuality and gay and transgender rights. It is highly decentralized but has a wide online presence, where its ideology is spread via racist or sexist memes with a satirical edge. It believes that higher education is only appropriate for a cognitive elite and that most citizens should be educated in trade schools or apprenticeships. Researchers who study extremist groups in the United States say there is no such thing as the alt-left. Mark Pitcavage, an analyst at the Anti-Defamation League, said the word had been made up to create a false equivalence between the far right and anything vaguely left-seeming that they didnt like. Some centrist liberals have taken to using this term. It did not arise organically, and it refers to no actual group or movement or network, Mr. Pitcavage said in an email. Its just a made-up epithet, similar to certain people calling any news they dont like fake news. On Tuesday, Mr. Trump said the alt-left was partly to blame for the Charlottesville violence, during which a counterprotester, Heather D. Heyer, was killed. The alt-light comprises members of the far right who once fell under the alt-right umbrella but have since split from the group because, by and large, racism and anti-Semitism are not central to its far-right nationalist views, according to Ryan Lenz, the editor of Hatewatch, a publication of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Members of the alt-right mocked these dissidents as the alt-light. The alt-light is the alt-right without the racist overtones, but it is hard to differentiate it sometimes because youre looking at people who sometimes dance between both camps, he said. The two groups often feud online over the Jewish Question, or whether Jews profit by secretly manipulating the government and the news media. Antifa is a contraction of the word anti-fascist. It was coined in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s by a network of groups that spread across Europe to confront right-wing extremists, according to Mr. Pitcavage. A similar movement emerged in the 1980s in the United States and has grown as the alt-right has risen to prominence. For some so-called antifa members, the goal is to physically confront white supremacists. If they can get at them, to assault them and engage in street fighting, Mr. Pitcavage said. Mr. Lenz, at the Southern Poverty Law Center, called the group an old left-wing extremist movement. Members of the alt-right broadly portray protesters who oppose them as antifa, or the alt-left, and say they bear some responsibility for any violence that ensues a claim made by Mr. Trump on Tuesday. But analysts said comparing antifa with neo-Nazi or white supremacist protesters was a false equivalence. Cuck is an insult used by the alt-right to attack the masculinity of an opponent, originally other conservatives, whom the movement deemed insufficiently committed to racism and anti-Semitism. It is short for cuckold, a word dating back to the Middle Ages that describes a man who knows his wife is sleeping with other men and does not object. Mr. Lenz said the use of the word by the alt-right often had racial overtones. S.J.W. is short for social justice warrior and is used by the right as an epithet for someone who advocates liberal causes like feminism, racial justice or gay and transgender rights. It is also sometimes used to imply that a persons online advocacy of a cause is insincere or done for appearances. It became widely used during GamerGate, a controversy that began in 2014 over sexism in video game subcultures. Mr. Lenz, whose organization has specific criteria for which groups it classifies as Nazi organizations, said the right used the phrase to rhetorically address the fact that the left sometimes calls anyone who disagrees with it Nazis. He said the alt-right had created the term so its followers had a similar blanket term to deride the left. Video taken at the white supremacist rally in Charlottesville on Saturday showed marchers chanting blood and soil. The phrase is a 19th-century German nationalist term that connotes a mystical bond between the blood of an ethnic group and the soil of their country. It was used as a Nazi slogan in Germany during the 1930s and 1940s and since then has been transported to neo-Nazi groups and other white supremacists around the world, Mr. Pitcavage said. It is one of several Nazi symbols that have been adopted as a slogan by some members of the alt-right. Globalism is sometimes used as a synonym for globalization, the network of economic interconnection that became the dominant international system after the Cold War. The word has become more commonly used since Mr. Trump railed against globalism frequently on the campaign trail. For the far right, globalism has long had distinct xenophobic, anti-immigrant and anti-Semitic overtones. It refers to a conspiratorial worldview: a cabal that likes open borders, diversity and weak nation states, and that dislikes white people, Christianity and the traditional culture of their own country. White genocide is a white nationalist belief that white people, as a race, are endangered and face extinction as a result of nonwhite immigration and marriage between the races, a process being manipulated by Jews, according to Mr. Lenz. It is the underlying concept behind far-right, anti-immigration arguments, especially those aimed at immigrants who are not white Christians. The concept was popularized by Bob Whitaker, a former economics professor and Reagan appointee to the Office of Personnel Management, who wrote a 221-word mantra on the subject that ended with the rallying cry: Anti-racist is code word for anti-white. Mr. Pitcavage said the concept of white genocide was often communicated online through a white supremacist saying called the Fourteen Words: We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children. The saying was created by David Lane, a white supremacist sentenced to 190 years in prison in connection with the 1984 murder of the Jewish radio host Alan Berg. A version of this article appears in print on August 16, 2017, on Page A15 of the New York edition with the headline: Alt-Right, Alt-Left, Antifa, Cuck: A Brief Glossary of Extremist Terminology.

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ADL chief says Charlottesville car-ramming resembles terror attacks against Israel – The Times of Israel

WASHINGTON The head of the Anti-Defamation League said Tuesday the fatal car-ramming that claimed a young womans life in Charlottesville, Virginia resembled the kind of terror attacks Israel has long experienced. Appearing on MSNBC, Jonathan Greenblatt was asked to explain the recruiting techniques that white nationalist groups use to attract more people to its cause. Extremism is a problem in any form, he said. Islamic extremists. Left-wing extremists. But right-wing extremists, like other fringe groups, they try to exploit disaffected young people at an early stage in their lives. At this point, he was interrupted by the shows host, Stephanie Ruhle, who said the method Greenblatt was describing reminded her of Islamist terrorist organizations. That sounds like the same description you hear when we talk about ISIS recruiters, she said, using a common acronym for Islamic State. Greenblatt agreed with Ruhles assessment. He went on to say that car rammings in particular have been a common practice for terrorists in the Middle East and Europe. In this Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 photo, James Alex Fields Jr., second from left, holds a black shield in Charlottesville, Va., where a white supremacist rally took place. Fields was later charged with second-degree murder and other counts after authorities say he plowed a car into a crowd of people protesting the white nationalist rally. (Alan Goffinski via AP) Its very similar, he said. Its no accident that the car ramming took place. This young man [Alex Fields Jr.] who murdered the innocent Heather Heyer [was] using the same technique of car ramming that has terrorized Tel Aviv, terrorized France, Germany. Its domestic terror. he said. So if it quacks like a duck and it walks like a duck, guess what? Its a duck. Since the Saturday incident, in which the 20-year-old Fields killed Heyer and injured 19 others in the car attack, as hundreds of white nationalists marched the streets of Charlottesville with Nazi, KKK and confederate insignia, several US officials have condemned the episode as an act of terror. A vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017. (Ryan M. Kelly/The Daily Progress via AP) Certainly I think we can confidently call it a form of terrorism, US President Donald Trumps national security adviser, H.R. McMaster, said Sunday on NBCs Meet The Press. What terrorism is is the use of violence to incite terror and fear, and of course it was terrorism. But quite notably, Trump himself has not made a similar declaration. As a candidate, he repeatedly castigated his predecessor, Barack Obama, for not using the phrase radical Islamic terror. When will President Obama issue the words RADICAL ISLAMIC TERRORISM? he tweeted on November 15, 2016, after an Islamic State attack in Paris, France. He cant say it, and unless he will, the problem will not be solved! Trump also outraged many when he did not condemn white nationalists during his first remarks about the rally on Saturday, when he also blamed many sides for the violence that transpired. It was not until two days later, amidst intense pressure and constant negative media coverage, that he begrudgingly said racism is evil and directly called out the racist groups who organized the rally to protest the citys plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. Those who cause violence in its name are criminal and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans, Trump said. On Monday, the Justice Department said it was opening a civil-rights investigation into the death of Heyer, who was murdered by Fields when he ran a Dodge Challenger into a crowd of people protesting the neo-Nazis in Charlottesville.

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In Wake of Virginia Violence, San Diego Jewish Community ‘Stands Up to Hate’ – Times of San Diego

Share This Article: The Anti-Defamation League, Leichtag Foundation and the San Diego RabbinicAssociation are hosting a forum called No Place for Hate. Photo courtesy ADL In the the aftermath of thedeadly white nationalist violence in Virginia, the Anti-Defamation League, Leichtag Foundation, and the San Diego Rabbinic Association are hosting a Stand Up to Hate forum on Tuesday, Aug. 15. The event at 7 p.m.will be held at the Lawrence Jacobs Jewish Community Center in La Jolla at 4126 Executive Drive. It will address White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis and all other forms of hate and extremism. Speakers will include (list continually updated): Congressman Scott Peters Rabbi Nadav Caine, Ner Tamid Synagogue; Chair, San Diego Rabbinical Association Rabbi Devorah Marcus, Temple Emanu-El Rabbi Yael Ridberg, Dor Hadash Synagogue Rabbi David Singer, Hillel of San Diego Parking will be available in the JCC lot and overflow parking in the structure directly across from the JCC Executive Drive entrance. Please arrive at 6:30 p.m. and leave non-essentials at home due to security checks. In Wake of Virginia Violence, San Diego Jewish Community Stands Up to Hate was last modified: August 15th, 2017 by Debbie L. Sklar > > Subscribe to Times of San Diegos free daily email newsletter! Click here

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It may not be ripe for a large white supremacist rally, but there’s hate in CT – The CT Mirror

MARKESHIA RICKS / New Haven Independent Nearly 300 people gathered Sunday at Chapel and Church streets in New Haven, one of several rallies around the state to protest white supremacist violence and hate. Washington Connecticut may not be fertile ground for a white supremacist rally like the one that turned violent in Charlottesville, Va., but the state is not immune to hate. The Southern Poverty Law Center, headquartered in Montgomery, Ala., says there are several active hate groups in the state. Perhaps the leading white supremacist figure fromthe stateis KennethZrallack, described by the Anti-Defamation League as one of the founders of the White Lives Matter movement, a small network of hardcore white supremacists with connections to a variety of hate groups. Zrallack and his brother Matthew organized the Connecticut White Wolves shortly after their graduation from high school in Stratford. In 2004, ADL called the group a collection of racist skinheads that has grown into the largest and most active extremist group in the state, promoting an ideology espousing hatred of Jews and racial and ethnic minorities. Members, though typically young, have been involved in a number of criminal acts in Connecticut and have forged ties with nationally recognized hate groups, including the National Alliance, the Creativity Movement, White Revolution and the Ku Klux Klan, the ADL said. The White Wolves seemed to disband after Ken Zrallack was arrested in 2010 and charged withconspiring to sell guns and hand grenades to an FBI informant brokering a deal for a Ku Klux Klan offshoot. A jury acquitted him of those charges. Zrallack then became one of the very first activists in the White Lives Matter movement in the spring of 2015, the ADL said. That movement was a reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement that grew out of frustration at a spate of police killings of black youth. A chapter of the ACT for America in Cheshire is also considered a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The center said that in the nine years since it was founded by Brigitte Gabriel, ACT, which stands for American Congress for Truth, has grown into far and away the largest grassroots anti-Muslim group in America. The group says it is planning a number of America First rallies across the nation on Sept. 9. The nationalgroup has condemned the violence in Charlottesville, which resulted in the death of counter-protester Heather Heyer. MARKESHIA RICKS / New Haven Independent Jesus Morales-Sanchez, an organizer with Unidad Latina en Accion, speaks to the crowd Sunday in New Haven. ACT for America stands squarely with the rights of all Americans to peacefully rally on behalf of their own beliefs, or in opposition to those of others, Gabriel said. Heather Heyer was murdered for her beliefs, and we join in sorrow with her family and friends. Her killer will be brought to justice, and while that cannot undo what has been done, it sends a powerful signal to the forces of hate and intolerance that they will be dealt with swiftly and according to the American rule of law. The third Connecticut hate group identified by the Southern Poverty Law Center is a black separatist organization known as the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense. The SPLC calls the organization a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers. Connecticut is more likely to hold rallies in support of those who are the targets of hate groups, like it did in the aftermath of the violence in Charlottesville, said Steve Ginsburg, ADL Connecticut regional director. He said white supremacists are not a real force in Connecticut, but there are people in every state with extremist ideologies who connect with others over the Internet. I dont think we are ripe to be the next Charlottesville, but I could be wrong, Ginsburg said. The state legislature voted unanimously this year to toughen Connecticuts hate crime laws. But still, there is evidence of hate in the state. In February, hundreds of printed fliers from a white supremacist group were found on driveways and in mailboxes along the Newtown Turnpike in Weston, Wilton, Westport and Norwalk. The fliers read, We must secure the existence of our race and a future for white children. Make America White Again. There are also dozens of hate crimes reported each year to the state police, a requirement of Connecticuts hate crime laws. Reports from 2003 to 2012 show a slight increase in hate crimes, with 166 reported in 2012. But the FBI says that two-thirds or more of these types of crimes go unreported. Tom Condon / CTMirror.org An anti-hate rally in West Hartford Sunday Bridgeport author Andy Piascik, who has written about the Ku Klux Klans history in Connecticut, said its difficult for the United States to shake off the white supremacist movement. The ideology of white supremacy is a central aspect of U.S. history, he said. The society was founded on the slavery of African Americans and we live with that legacy today. The Ku Klux Klan appeared first in Connecticut in the 1920s, he said, when there was concern about continued immigration of Italians, Poles and Jews from Europe, increasing labor unrest and large socialist and anarchist organizations who tried to appeal to everyone. The latest Klan rallies in the state occurred in the early 1980s, but counter-protesters vastly outnumbered the marchers. Today, counter-protesters in Connecticut would significantly outnumber the white supremacists who rallied in Charlottesville, Piascik said. The sort of KKK-type groups are likely to be small in Connecticut, Piascik said. But look at how quickly they came out of the woodwork (in Charlottesville.) They want to announce to the world we are here. Steve Thornton, a retired labor organizer in West Hartford who has written about fascism in America, predicted the violence in Charlottesville is going to spur more, not fewer, hate crimes.

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Pennsylvania fifth in nation for hate groups – Allentown Morning Call

Pennsylvania is home to more than three dozen hate groups ranging from local chapters of the Ku Klux Klan and a violent skinhead group to anti-LGBT and anti-Muslim organizations, according to a national watchdog group that tracks extremist organizations. In its annual Intelligence Report, released in February, the Southern Poverty Law Center reported the number of hate groups had surged nationally to 917 in 2016, within 100 of the all-time high recorded in 2011. Forty of the groups were in Pennsylvania, making it the fifth most active state behind California (79), Florida (63), Texas (55) and New York (47), according to SPLC. Theres no question about it that theres a decent white supremacist presence all throughout the state, said a senior investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League in Philadelphia, who asked that his name not be published because of the nature of his work. But, he cautioned, white supremacist and other hate groups are difficult to quantify because they exist in shadows and are often little more than clusters of like-minded people who ascribe to the ideology of a larger group. Such pockets of hate group activity exist throughout the state, in urban areas including Philadelphia and Pittsburgh and rural places like Potter County, in north-central Pennsylvania, where one of the nations largest neo-Nazi groups has a regional headquarters. Much of the activity is private or anonymous, such as distributing leaflets in neighborhoods or on college campuses, but in the last year Pennsylvania white supremacist groups have staged public events. In November, about 50 members of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement held an anti-diversity rally on the Pennsylvania Capitol steps, drawing about 200 counter-protesters and dozens of police in riot gear, according to published reports. And in May, the East Coast Knights of the Ku Klux Klan drew attention and protests after their announcement they would burn a cross in rural Lancaster County, although the event happened on private property, according to news reports. The presence of hate groups in the Lehigh Valley has been visible this year with the arrest of several men following an April raid by federal agents on the home of a known skinhead leader in Phillipsburg, N.J. Federal authorities charged Joshua Steever, 37; Henry Lambert Baird, 49, of Allentown; and Jacob Mark Robards, 40, of Bethlehem and three other men from Maryland and Virginia with drug and weapons trafficking conspiracy. They were members, prosecutors allege, of Aryan Strikeforce, a skinhead white supremacist organization active throughout Pennsylvania. Steever, Baird and Robards have been convicted of violent felonies, according to court records. Prosecutors allege they transported and sold what they believed was methamphetamine and parts of automatic weapons to earn money for the group. That was a substantial blow to that organization, but it hasnt made Aryan Strikeforce dissolve altogether, the Anti-Defamation League researcher said. The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the following hate groups active in Pennsylvania: peter.hall@mcall.com Twitter @phall215 610-820-6581

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FBI arrests Oklahoma man after anti-government bomb plot at local bank – PBS NewsHour

Jerry Drake Varnell, is pictured in this undated handout photo obtained by Reuters on Aug. 14, 2017. Photo by Oklahoma Department of Corrections via Reuters The FBI has arrested an Oklahoma man who took actions to develop and detonate what he thought was a vehicle bomb targeted at a local bank, the Department of Justice said. Jerry Drake Varnell, 23, was arrested early Saturday morning in Oklahoma City after he was flagged by the FBI in a long-term undercover investigation the agency says revealed the extent of his hatred against the government. According to court documents, the FBI opened a domestic terrorism investigation when an unnamed source told the agency they believed Varnell was planning to blow up a federal building in Washington, D.C. An undercover FBI agent kept in touch with Varnell via encrypted texts and Facebook messages, offering assistance to advance a plan to assemble an explosives-laden vehicle and drive it to downtown Oklahoma City, the DOJ says. After Varnell attempted to detonate his bomb which the DOJ said was inert and posed no danger to the public the FBI arrested him. The DOJ said Varnell initially planned to target the Federal Reserve Building in Washington, D.C., among other buildings in Maryland and Texas. The unnamed source who approached the FBI said Varnell expressed his anger with the government as well as a desire to develop and arm a small militia group, according to the complaint. According to a criminal complaint filed in federal court, Varnell was charged with attempting to use explosives to destroy a building in this case, the BancFirst in downtown Oklahoma City. He faces a maximum prison sentence of 20 years and a mandatory minimum sentence of five years of imprisonment if convicted, the DOJ said in a statement released Monday. A spokesman for the U.S. Attorneys office says Varnell has not yet been indicted; the office will seek an indictment within the next 30 days. If the bombing was successful, Varnell had planned to have a message posted on Facebook referencing the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing orchestrated by Timothy McVeigh, the court documents said. What happened in Oklahoma city was not an attack on America, it was retaliation. Retaliation against the freedoms that have been taken away from the American people, the would-be message said. In his conversations with the FBI agent, Varnell said he followed the ideology of the Three Percenters, one of the nations largest armed right-wing groups that pledges resistance against the U.S. government. The group is named after the incorrect notion that 3 percent of the colonies population fought in the American Revolution. The Anti-Defamation League has said that more than 10,000 people identify with the right-wing group, the NewsHour reported in April. NewsHours P.J. Tobia looks at why armed militia groups are surging across the nation. Varnell said in one conversation with the undercover agent in June that he wanted to do something that would somehow cripple the government. Something that sends a message that says, You are a target.’ When the agent, at one time, raised the possibility of deaths from the explosion, Varnell responded, You got to break a couple of eggs to make an omelet. Varnell later said he wanted to conduct an attack after closing hours to limit the amount of casualties, the complaint said. READ MORE: Judge denies bond for suspect in Charlottesville attack at white nationalist rally

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Connecticut no stranger to political protests – WTNH Connecticut News (press release)

Related Coverage NEW HAVEN (WTNH) The alt-right has had a presence within the state of Connecticut. Last month, the far right political group known as The Proud Boys faced off with demonstrators on the New Haven Green. Four people were arrested for disorderly conduct. Earlier this year, an anti-black slur was found on a Stamford interracial couples garage. Related Content:Stamford couple faces possible arrest for refusing to remove racial graffiti The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) says that, although the main groups that were involved in the Unite the Right protests and riots have members theyve tracked locally, the groups are not active. I cant promise that something like this wont happen here in Connecticut and there arent people who might form groups to tie in with what happened in Charlottesville. But I also know there are hundreds and thousands of people who will form groups to combat and confront that ideology, Steve Ginsburg, Director of the ADL-CT regional office said. The overwhelming sense from our leaders here in Connecticut and the populous is that is not who we want to be. Related Content:New Haven Green political protesters identified According to the ADL, there have been 10 anti-Semitic incidents in Connecticut since April. Nationally, there has been an 86% increase. Hate crimes and convictions have stayed fairly static in the past few years, according to the state. In June, Connecticut unanimously passed one of the strongest hate crime bills in the country, which makes any hate crime a felony as opposed to a misdemeanor. Related Content:Hate crime bill passes Connecticut State Senate Like Loading…

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August 14, 2017   Posted in: Anti-Defamation League  Comments Closed

Anti-Defamation League calls for Trump to ‘denounce white supremacy in all forms’ – WJLA

President Donald Trump walk up to the podium to speak to members of the media regarding the ongoing situation in Charlottesville, Va., Saturday, Aug. 12, 2017 at Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, N.J. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) The Anti-Defamation League is asking for President Donald Trump to “clearly denounce white supremacy in all forms” following the violence at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that left multiple dead and injured. President Donald Trump condemned the violence in Charlottesville on Twitter hours before he addressed the incident during a press conference in New Jersey on Saturday afternoon saying, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides.” Many have said they were not satisfied with the President’s response. The ADL says they support Trump’s condemnation but wants him to “name the hate” according to their CEO Jonathan Greenblatt. Below is Greenblatt’s full statement: “The gathering of extreme hate yesterday in Charlottesville is something we have not seen in at least a decade and it continues a troubling pattern: these extremists are emboldened and are making every effort to exploit their visibility for their hateful cause. Now is the time for our leadership across the board to name the hate. This is a moment that demands moral leadership. President Trump should acknowledge that this is not a matter of equivalence between two sides with similar gripes. There is no rationalizing white supremacy and no room for this vile bigotry. It is un-American and it needs to be condemned without hesitation. We call on the White House to terminate all staff with any ties to these extremists. There is no rationale for employing people who excuse hateful rhetoric and ugly incitement. They do not serve the values embodied in our Constitution nor the interests of the American people. We expected this to be the largest white supremacist gathering in the last decade. Unfortunately, it turned out to be one of the most violent as well. ADL has been sounding the alarm about domestic terrorism and hate crimes in America. This consistent threat requires consistent resources. It is long overdue for the President to develop a plan of action to combat white supremacy and all forms of hate, including investing funds in countering violent extremism from all ideological corners. We stand ready to partner in this effort. Without a clear denunciation and plan of action, these bigots are only emboldened.”

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August 14, 2017   Posted in: Anti-Defamation League  Comments Closed


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