Archive for April, 2011

Public defender in Cleveland seeks to help John Demjanjuk, says case may have been tainted

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

CLEVELAND, Ohio —

A local federal public defender said Friday that he wants to help suspected Nazi prison guard John Demjanjuk, claiming an FBI document unearthed this month undermines the government’s longstanding legal fight against him.

The 91-year-old Demjanjuk is on trial in Germany, accused of complicity in the deaths of more than 27,000 people at the Sobibor death camp in Nazi-occupied Poland. He was deported to Munich nearly two years ago after U.S. judges ruled he lied about his wartime past.

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In a motion filed in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Public Defender Dennis Terez said all of Demjanjuk’s legal proceedings to date may have been tainted because he believes defense attorneys have not seen all the documents in the case.

He cited a newly found 1985 report by the Cleveland FBI office, which indicated that the Soviet KGB may have worked to create false information about Demjanjuk. The report suggested that a Nazi guard identification card, also called a pass, may have been forged, a claim Demjanjuk’s supporters have made for years.

 

John DemjanjukView full sizeAPJohn Demjanjuk is brought into the courtroom in Munich, Germany, on Feb. 22.

The report said federal authorities sought information from the Soviets about suspected Nazi persecutors. The KGB then produced “a record purporting to tie the accused with the commission of Nazi atrocities, which record may be falsified for the express purpose of discrediting the accused,” the report said.

“The end result is that justice is ill-served in the prosecution of an American citizen on evidence, which is not only normally inadmissible in a court of law, but based on evidence and allegations quite likely fabricated by the KGB,” the FBI report said.

The pass, known as the Trawniki card, has a picture and Nazi identification number of a man named Ivan Demjanjuk, who has the same birth date, hair color, scar on his back and father’s name as the former Seven Hills’ autoworker.

The Associated Press found the report this month in declassified government documents. The news agency reported that Demjanjuk’s attorneys in Munich sought to stop the trial so they could study more documents in the United States. A German judge refused. A verdict is expected in May.

 

Dennis Terez.JPG Public defender Dennis Terez, shown in 2006.

Demjanjuk’s deportation to Germany came years after a federal judge in Cleveland stripped Demjanjuk of his citizenship following a 2001 trial.

“The case was tried, judgment entered, and the judgment affirmed,” Terez said. “But the government knew then what the world knows now, namely, that its case had been judged not credible by its own FBI.”

Eli Rosenbaum, the director of the U.S. Justice Department unit that brought the case against Demjanjuk, could not be reached Friday. But Jonathan Drimmer, the former prosecutor who tried the case in Cleveland, said he never saw or heard of the FBI report.

He said he believes the card is authentic, based on extensive testing of handwriting, paper and ink. He also said there were tests on the typewriting and photograph.

“I don’t think there is a single piece of legal evidence that has undergone more scientific and forensic testing than the Trawniki identification card of John Demjanjuk,” he said.

Demjanjuk was first accused of being a Nazi guard in 1977, when federal prosecutors identified him as a sadistic camp guard known as Ivan the Terrible, a case based on eyewitness testimony. He was convicted in Israel and spent about six years on death row.

While in Israel, the public defender’s office in Cleveland was appointed to represent Demjanjuk in his U.S. appeals. In 1993, his conviction in Israel was overturned, after another man was identified as being the guard.

After he returned to Seven Hills, federal prosecutors accused him again, this time using the wartime documents, including the now-questioned Trawniki card to link him to Sobibor and other two camps.

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Skinhead promises speech at bench trial

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

A self-described skinhead says he has prepared a speech to read at his federal bench trial this afternoon for allegedly assaulting an accused child molester.

James D. Bacon, 23, is charged with misdemeanor assault for punching Darrell W. Monzingo, 44, as the men shared a holding cell at the Thomas S. Foley United State Courthouse on March 10.  The assault was captured on video, accoridng to a trial brief.

In a April 9 jailhouse letter to The Spokesman-Review, Bacon said he is a member of the Valhalla-Bound Skinhead movement, which was founded by Keegan Van Tuyl. Van Tuyl is scheduled to be released from federal prison in September. Authorities consider him extremely dangerous.

Bacon said his three-page speech will shock the judge.

“However, it is written with an eloquent passion from my heart,” Bacon wrote. “It is by no mean’s vulgar, & it addresses my beliefs as a skinhead, as a man, & as a person utterly disgusted with sex offenders.”

Bacon wrote that he hopes victims of sex crimes can be consoled by “knowing that people like myself are fighting in their honor.”

Bacon, who was convicted of armed robbery in 2004, was wanted for a felony drug violation and Department of Corrections warrant when he ran from police near Wellesley Avenue and Regal Street on Dec. 7.

Police arrested him in a struggle, then realized he was armed with a sawed-off 12-gauge shotgun.

Monzingo, whose trial is set for September, faces up to 30 years in prison after Spokane police found child pornography during a search of his home in the 3400 block of E. Fairview Ave. on Dec. 16. He’s charged with manufacturing the material.

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City’s black residents now top all groups

Monday, April 25th, 2011
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Their numbers dropped, but other changes put them first. Population rose for the first time in 50 years.

By Michael Matza, Kia Gregory, and John Duchneskie

Inquirer Staff Writers

African descendants have called Philadelphia home for centuries, with the first U.S. Census, in 1790, listing 2,099 “free” blacks and 373 slaves.

Today, the city’s black population is 644,287, according to the latest census, and for the first time it clearly outnumbers all other racial or ethnic groups.

This evolution happened even though the number of African Americans in the city, excluding Hispanics, declined about 1,800 over the last decade and their share of the population remained about the same.

Key to the new black plurality: the continued steep decline in the city’s white population. In 2000, each group accounted for about 42 percent of city residents, but the white share is now 37 percent, after a loss of 82,000 people.

Meanwhile, an influx of Hispanics, Asians, and other groups – now 21 percent of the city’s 1.5 million people – boosted Philadelphia’s total for the first time in 50 years.

The black plurality coincides with another trend: More and more middle- and working-class African Americans are leaving the city for suburbia. Since 2000, the black population of the city’s Pennsylvania suburbs jumped 26 percent – by 47,000.

“You need to look at it not only from a racial-ethnic point of view, but also the distribution of incomes,” said Mark Mather, senior demographer with the Population Reference Bureau, a nonprofit in Washington that interprets census data.

Are relatively “higher-income blacks moving away from the city, leaving behind a poorer population without a lot of prospects?” he asked. “That wouldn’t bode well.”

In the last decade, average income in white households in Philadelphia rose 4 percent to $65,100, adjusted for inflation. But black household income fell 10 percent to $40,200. Overall, the average income in the city fell 1 percent.

Neighborhoods with the highest concentration of African Americans – West Oak Lane, Kingsessing, and Nicetown, among others – were slammed twice.

Many who could move out did. Many who remained experienced a significant drop in income. In Tioga-Nicetown, which is 94 percent black, average household income fell 35 percent in the last decade – the city’s biggest drop – to $26,800. That’s half of the citywide average.

As gentrification gathered speed in some predominantly black parts of the city, superheating property values, several things happened. Some homeowners cashed in and bought again, either in suburbia or other parts of Philadelphia. Some renters got squeezed out or were left stranded in pockets of poverty.

“Yes, Philadelphia has 42 percent blacks,” said Voffee Jabateh, director of the African Cultural Alliance of North America, a Southwest Philadelphia advocacy group for African immigrants, but by and large “these are not blacks that have a strong economic voice.”

U.S. Rep. Chaka Fattah, a Democrat whose district covers parts of North and West Philadelphia and Montgomery County, said he saw the movement of black residents to better neighborhoods as “identical in many ways to patterns of other demographic groups . . . as people make their way into the middle class.”

 

Migrating to the suburbs

Across Bucks, Montgomery, Delaware, and Chester Counties, the proportion of black residents grew in 176 of 238 municipalities, mirroring a national trend, though still fewer than 10 percent of Philadelphia-area suburbanites are black.

In the 1950s, said Norristown municipal administrator David Forrest, mortgages “were more available to whites than blacks,” leading to “primarily white suburbanization.”

Black upward mobility and more available credit, particularly in the last decade, he said, spurred movement to inner-ring suburbs, especially in southeastern Delaware County, where better schools, lower housing density, and public transportation lured people from Southwest Philadelphia, including large numbers of African immigrants.

Sharon Hill and East Lansdowne for the first time became majority-black towns, according to the census. They joined Yeadon, Colwyn, Darby Borough, Chester, and Chester Township – already majority black in 2000 – as new pillars in the inner ring of predominantly African American suburbs.

“It’s the upward mobility of people coming out of the city,” said Mary Bell, manager of demographic and economic analysis for the Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission. “The impact is biggest in Delaware County because the houses there are more affordable.”

Unlike Delaware County, where a fifth of the population is black, Bucks and Chester Counties experienced little change. According to the 2010 census, fewer than 6 percent of residents of those counties are black.

In Montgomery County, the number of black residents grew from 55,303 in 2000 to 67,582 in 2010, nudging its percentage of the total population to 8.4 percent.

Suburban diversity also was spurred by the arrival of Latinos, up 105 percent last decade, and Asians, up 72 percent.

 

A tale of two communities

Two swaths of the city that experienced significant population change during the last decade were parts of North Philadelphia – including Tioga-Nicetown, which lost 1,977 people, 10 percent of its population – and the largely white lower Northeast, which grew in numbers and diversity.

Tacony, for instance, was 9 percent minority in 2000; now it is 39 percent minority, including African Americans, Hispanics, and Asians.

Louis Iatarola, president of the Tacony Civic Association, attributes that change to the mid-decade real estate boom, which created new homeowners and investors, who sometimes carved houses into affordable apartments.

On the loss side of the ledger, Majeedah A. Rashid, executive vice president of the Nicetown Community Development Corp., said she saw why the population in her part of town had fallen: “In the last 20, 30 years, there was really nothing going on here.”

Rashid cited the “flight of industry,” including the closing of the Budd and Tastykake factories.

“Those things make a big impact,” she said. “People are moving away from the neighborhood to find better housing conditions and more valuable employment.”

Her group is working to retain and attract residents by brokering such things as the construction of Nicetown Court, a mix of commercial business and 34 new affordable-housing units, and the installation of lights in one of the community’s two-acre parks. “That’s a big deal in Nicetown,” Rashid said.

Michael Burch, 51, who grew up in the Parkside section of West Philadelphia, is among those African Americans who picked up and moved.

After Burch earned a master’s degree in science education from Temple University, he left in 1982 for a more affluent city neighborhood – Wynnefield.

“I was slowly making my way out of the city,” he said, jokingly, of his move to near the Montgomery County border. He counts himself as part of a generation whose education and careers afforded it the means to move up and eventually out.

Burch, director of youth programs at the Franklin Institute, later settled in Upper Darby, then in Drexel Hill.

He said his main reason for leaving “was just the congestion of the city.” But after his mother died five years ago, instead of selling his three-story childhood home in Parkside, he moved back in.

“Growing up in that neighborhood as a child,” Burch said, “I had so many good and fond memories of the house and neighborhood and living near Fairmount Park, which was a big part of my life then. I thought I could add something to the neighborhood now.”

 

In Delaware County

In Collingdale, Pat Reilly of Reilly Real Estate said his business formerly had been based in Southwest Philadelphia, “but the area got pretty much sold out” after West African immigrants, especially from Liberia and Ghana, started snapping up houses a decade ago.

Then some of them, along with African Americans, moved into Collingdale, he said. Census figures show the proportion of black residents jumped from 4 percent in 2000 to 35 percent of the 8,786 residents in 2010.

A typical rowhouse that sold for about $105,000 half a decade ago sells for $80,000 to $85,000 today, Reilly said.

Those buying affordable Collingdale houses, he said, are mostly first-time buyers, often single mothers who work as health-care aides and certified nursing assistants.

Houses come on the market because of estate sales, Reilly said, or when elderly retirees move into nursing homes or to live with family.

The Rev. Michael Fitzpatrick of Collingdale’s Grace Reformed Episcopal Church said the arrivals were helping to resuscitate his congregation.

When he arrived at the parish from Havertown in 2003, he said, the church was down to 27 members, all white except for one Liberian woman. Today, thanks largely to the influx of African Americans and West Africans, there are 160 parishioners, including 30 who are white.

Church members have told Fitzpatrick that they moved to Collingdale for the heightened sense of security, better schools, and backyards.

Jacquelynn Puriefoy-Brinkley, a former president of Yeadon Borough Council, is a retiree in her 70s. She recalled moving to Yeadon with her parents in 1947, along with other “mostly upper-middle-class” black residents who lived in an enclave on one side of town.

Puriefoy-Brinkley’s father owned several businesses and was a salesman for Wyeth Pharmaceuticals.

In the late 1940s and early 1950s, Yeadon was about 10 percent black, she said. Over time, a larger cross section of African Americans from the city moved in.

Today Yeadon is 88 percent black. NAACP membership forms are available at the circulation desk of the public library. A shopping strip includes the Mohammad Ali Variety Store across the street from the Harlem Cafe.

Going from virtually all white to virtually all black is certainly no triumph of coexistence, Puriefoy-Brinkley acknowledged, but she feels the pattern of movement has been basically positive.

“Maybe the upside,” she said, “is that people who didn’t have opportunities to live in decent housing or walkable communities have those opportunities now.”

 

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Sewn Cotton Totenkopf “Meine Ehre heißt Treue” Flag

Monday, April 25th, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

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Smoke Bomb Shuts Down Adolf Hitler Birthday Party in Illinois

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011
A "ham kaas tosti" or "tosti ha...

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A party marking the birthday of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler in a town outside Chicago was brought to an abrupt end by a smoke bomb attack, The Chicago Tribune reported Monday.

At Saturday’s bash in Lyons, Illinois, about 60 people gathered to celebrate the 122nd anniversary of the murderous German leader’s birth — flying swastika banners even organizing a cake decorated with the words, “Happy Birthday Adolf Hitler.”

They also set out to celebrate the start of the American Civil War, according to party host Art Jones, of the America First Committee. A second cake marking the war’s outbreak on April 12, 1861, had the logo: “The South Was Right. White Men Fight,” Jones said.

But the early-evening party at P.J. Klem’s Restaurant And Banquet Hall came to a swift end when a mystery man walked in, ordered a grilled cheese sandwich then set off a smoke bomb in a restroom, forcing an evacuation and the closure of the hall.

The man, who was carrying a backpack, was being sought by police — but officers admitted the description of him was “very vague.”

Nobody was injured and there was no serious damage to the restaurant. A spokesman for the premises said staff were unaware of the party’s purpose when the booking was made — although the group has rented the hall in previous years.

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Roommate charged with hate crime in Rutgers suicide

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

TRENTON, N.J. – A former Rutgers University freshman was indicted Wednesday on a hate crime charge after allegedly using a webcam to spy on a same-sex encounter involving his roommate, who committed suicide shortly afterward in a case that started a national conversation on bullying.

A 15-count indictment was handed up Wednesday by a Middlesex County grand jury against Dharun Ravi, of Plainsboro, who had already faced invasion of privacy charges along with another student, Molly Wei.

The indictment charges Ravi with bias intimidation, invasion of privacy, witness and evidence tampering, and other charges stemming from the suicide of 18-year-old Tyler Clementi in September. The indictment said charges against Wei would not be presented to the grand jury “at this time.”

Clementi jumped off the George Washington Bridge into the Hudson River shortly after authorities say Ravi and Wei used a webcam to peek at his liaison. Lawyers for Ravi say the webcam stream was viewed on only a single computer and did not show the men having sex.

The indictment says Ravi targeted Clementi and invaded his privacy knowing that Clementi would be intimidated because of his sexual orientation.

According to the indictment, Ravi deleted a Twitter post letting others know how they could view a second encounter involving Clementi and replaced it with a false tweet; deleted text messages sent and received by witnesses; and gave false information to police , all actions intended to mislead investigators.

If convicted of the most serious bias charge, Ravi could face five to 10 years in prison.

Lawyers for Ravi and Wei didn’t immediately return calls seeking comment.

The death of Clementi, a promising violinist in his first weeks at college, came amid a string of high-profile suicides of young people who were gay or perceived to be gay.

Partly because of his high-profile death and the other circumstances surrounding his suicide, Clementi became a face of the issue.

President Barack Obama and celebrities including talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and sex columnist Dan Savage have talked publicly about his death and said that young gays and lesbians need to know that life gets better.

Clementi’s parents, Jane and Joe Clementi, said in a statement released Wednesday that they were eager for the case to move forward in order to “reinforce the standards of acceptable conduct in our society.”

“The grand jury indictment spells out cold and calculated acts against our son Tyler by his former college roommate,” they said. “If these facts are true, as they appear to be, then it is important for our criminal justice system to establish clear accountability under the law.”

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Jewish group calls for boycott of N.J. hotel that hosted neo-Nazi Statehouse rally attendees

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011
Mussolini (left) and Hitler sent their armies ...

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A militant Jewish group has called for the boycott of the Bordentown Township Comfort Inn after it hosted neo-Nazis who rallied at the Statehouse this past weekend.

After attempting to prevent the National Socialist Movement (NSM) from coming to Trenton by threatening a boycott to any hotel that provided the neo-Nazis with lodging, the Jewish Defense Organization is ready to make good on its threat retroactively.

“They rented to the Nazis – we have to break them in half financially,” said the JDO’s Jeff Goldman in a phone message on the group’s hotline.

He calls on people of all faiths to punish the hotel for enabling the rally.

“You don’t have to be Jewish to hate Nazis,” Goldman says in the message.

The members of NSM were driven from the hotel to the rally site Saturday afternoon by State Police troopers in corrections department buses. But the inn’s management may not have known who they had booked.

“There was no group reservation,” desk manager Chris Bhajat said today. The hotel’s owner did not return a request for comment left with Bhajat, who said he had not heard of an angry calls protesting the NSM’s stay there.

“You’re the first to call about this,” he said when reached by phone today.

The JDO has also called for a boycott of Club 449 in Pemberton Borough, where NSM held a pre-rally meeting. The club on Pemberton Road was the site of a violent confrontation between NSM members and an anti-racism group Friday night, state police said.

Around 7 p.m., troopers from Red Lion and Bordentown Stations were called to the site on a report of 50 people fighting, Capt. Frank Davis said. Somerset resident Thomas Keenan, 25, and 29-year-old Joseph Alcoff of Syracuse, NY were arrested and charged with rioting. Both are part of the Anti-Racist Action organization, Davis said.

Four NSM members were injured, with two going to Deborah Hospital in Pemberton Township, while two others were taken to Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mt. Holly. All were subsequently treated and released.

Hundreds of troopers were deployed throughout the Statehouse area to keep the peace during the rally, and no incidents were reported, Davis said. However, three arrests were made following the demonstration, with one person charged with criminal mischief after he allegedly broke a window with a tire iron. One person was charged with failure to disperse, while another faces charges of disorderly conduct and possession of fireworks, officials said.

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Neo-Nazis, opponents brawl

Monday, April 18th, 2011

PEMBERTON BOROUGH – A clash between neo-Nazis and members of an antiracist organization Friday evening left four Nazis in the hospital and prompted two arrests, according to the New Jersey State Police.

The fight involved about 50 people and took place on the eve of a neo-Nazi rally Saturday in Trenton.

State troopers responded to the fight at about 7 p.m. on the unit block of Pemberton Street, where members of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement were gathering to prepare for their rally.

The group has been described as one of the largest neo-Nazi hate groups in the country and promotes a racist and anti-Semitic agenda, according to both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

While the NSM members were meeting, about 25 people from a Minnesota-based group called the Anti-Racist Action Network drove into the borough and an armed melee ensued between the two groups. They fought with weapons such as knives, pipes and wooden boards, state police said.

All but two of the combatants, who were not seriously hurt, scattered when troopers arrived.

State police arrested Joseph W. Alcoff, 29, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Thomas T. Keenan, 25, of Franklin Township, and charged them both with third-degree inciting a riot.

Both are members of the Anti-Racist Action Network and both were transferred to the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly in lieu of $50,000 bail each, according to state police.

Authorities said the incident remains under investigation and do not rule out further arrests and charges.

Four of the Nazis suffered undisclosed injuries as a result of the fight and were transported to local hospitals.

Two were treated and released from Lourdes Emergency Department at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Pemberton Township. The other two were being treated at Virtua Memorial in Mount Holly on Saturday, state police said.

Their identities or conditions were not available.

The Anti-Racist Action Network posted a blog to its website about the incident describing the confrontation.

“A group of 30 of us decided to march to where the Nazis were strongest, to bodily and boldly confront them, and we were decidedly victorious,” the blog reads. “After the dust settled, six Nazis were hospitalized, more were injured, their vehicles and property were damaged, and their conference was ended.”

The neo-Nazi rally in Trenton did go on as planned for about 90 minutes Saturday, but state police said the 50 members of the National Socialist Movement who marched at the Statehouse were outnumbered fourfold by members of antiracist groups and other counter-protesters.

The event was generally peaceful, although there were at least three arrests – one for breaking a window at a bank, one for a weapons offense, and one for shooting off fireworks, according to state police.

Authorities did not immediately release further details.

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Neo-Nazi rally at N.J. Statehouse is outnumbered by counter-protests

Sunday, April 17th, 2011
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TRENTON — A small group of neo-Nazis, members of the National Socialist Movement, rallied on the steps of the Statehouse briefly Saturday, while hundreds of counter-protesters demonstrated behind a barricade a short distance down the street.

Easily outnumbering both groups, however, were police officers gathered en masse along the length of West State Street, where the Statehouse is located.

Speakers with the NSM contingent, which numbered 50 to 100 people, railed against illegal immigration, high taxes, and crime, portraying themselves as a patriot organization seeking to protect American prosperity.

“We have illegal aliens … streaming over our borders taking American jobs,” said NSM national director Jeff Schoep, speaking into a microphone over the chants and catcalls of counter-protesters. “You can’t tell me that … illegals are coming here to take the jobs that we don’t want. They’re coming here to steal our jobs and live free off your welfare and tax dollars.”

Speakers with NSM, which is based in Detroit, said they had come from places as far away as Arizona and California.

“People wonder why we come to Trenton. Our American founding father won his first battle here in the Revolutionary War,” Schoep said. “The National Socialist Movement is freedom fighters.

We honor our founding fathers. We honor George Washington and we fight here today just as our forefathers did many years ago.”

The rally took place within a heavily fortified perimeter. The public was not allowed into the counter-protesters’ staging area without passing through a metal detector.

Counter-protesters met NSM’s chants of “Sieg Heil,” with their own mantras: “Hey-hey, ho-ho, this Nazi scum has got to go.”

Several groups were represented among the opposition, including the Anti-Racist Action Network (ARA) and the city’s New Black Panther Party.

Divine Allah, a youth minister with the Panthers and a former city council candidate, said the groups had sent a clear message that Trenton was united against racism.

“We can unify around a common goal: to face and deal with the issue that’s affecting us all and that is racism,” he said. “We just had to show that the Trenton community can stand up, but we need to stand up and deal with some of the things that are going on in this community on a daily basis. (NSM) left,” he said, “but we’ve still got work to do.”

While the rally was relatively peaceful, state police reported that members of ARA and NSM clashed Friday evening in Pemberton Borough. According to authorities, NSM members were meeting at a church on Pemberton Street when about 25 individuals affiliated with ARA approached the building and began throwing rocks and other objects.

NSM members came outside, and a fight involving as many as 50 people ensued. Four people, identified by state police as NSM members, were taken to the hospital for treatment of minor injuries while two ARA members were arrested and charged with inciting to riot and disorderly conduct. They were being held in lieu of $50,000 bail.

“Historically, there’s a lot of antagonism here,” said Sgt. Stephen Jones, a state police spokesman. “There’s been some incidents in other cities where things got pretty nasty, so we brought all the resources out here to make sure this doesn’t happen and everything stays peaceful.”

While the state police spearheaded the security effort at the Statehouse, representatives of the Trenton Police Department, the Mercer County sheriff’s and prosecutor’s offices, and the U.S. Department of Justice were also on hand.

Hundreds of uniformed officers patrolled the area while police helicopters clattered overhead.
Jones said that while NSM paid a small fee to demonstrate, it was likely insufficient compensation to cover the cost of the security.

“There is a permit fee,” he said. “The permit fee is relatively low compared to, obviously, the amount of time and effort put into this.”

In one minor incident, reported after the rally ended, two counter-protesters were arrested after smashing a window of the Bank of America branch at the corner of South Broad and East State streets as buses carrying NSM members passed by.

According to Jones, NSM members were ordered to park several miles from downtown Trenton and were transported to the rally site by state Department of Corrections buses.

Residents on West State Street said they were disturbed to see such virulent racism on display right outside their front doors.

“I cannot believe racism is still going on, I just can’t believe it,” said Cheree Munn, 26, who watched the rally with her neighbor, Carla Thomas, from their front stoop. “I thought this was done and over with. You still have people in the world like that? We need to come together.”

Munn and Thomas, who are black, said NSM members waved their middle fingers at the pair as they passed by their front door. They suggested that, without the police presence, the rally might have gone differently, if it had been held in some of the city’s rougher neighborhoods.

“I think they should’ve taken it on Walnut Avenue, or Passaic Street, or one of the hard streets,” Thomas said.

“It wouldn’t have lasted long,” Munn added.

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Neo-Nazis protest outside State House in Trenton

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

TRENTON — Roughly 50 members of a neo-Nazi group took to the streets on Saturday, marching to the State House and calling on residents to join them in their fight against illegal immigration, high taxes, crime and corruption.

But the National Socialist Movement members received little support from protesters and others who braved intermittent rain and chilly temperatures to oppose the group, saying it promotes anti-Semitic and racist ideologies.

The opposing camps were kept separated during the 90-minute rally by dozens of state troopers — some who shepherded police dogs — and Trenton officers.

Several streets near the State House were blocked off to vehicle and pedestrian traffic for most of Saturday, and both NSM members and protesters were screened by authorities before they were allowed in the event.

“You may not agree with what we say and what we stand for, but don’t be afraid to open your mind and listen to what we have to say,” said Jason Hiecke, the NSM’s chief of staff. Standing not far from New Jersey‘s World War II Memorial, he compared the NSM to the American colonists who “bravely fought and won” the Revolutionary War.

“We are patriots just like George Washington, fighting for our freedom, fighting for America,” Hiecke said. “If George Washington were alive, he would be here with us today.”

Speaking on the State House steps, Hiecke was joined by the NSM members, who responded to the protesters’ derisive and obscene remarks with repeated Nazi salutes and chants of “Sieg Heil.”

“We put a lot of meticulous planning into this event, to do what we could to keep everyone safe,” said acting state police Lt. Stephen Jones. “We want to let people exercise their First Amendment rights as long as it’s done in a peaceful manner. We will have a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of violent or inappropriate behavior.”

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In pre-rally clash, 4 Nazis sent to hospital, 2 from the opposition locked up

Saturday, April 16th, 2011
RIVERSIDE, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Members of the wh...

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PEMBERTON — Four members of the neo-Nazi group coming to rally today in Trenton were injured in a confrontation with counter protestors last night, ahead of the Nazi group’s planned march in Trenton.

New Jersey State Police spokesman Sgt. Steve Jones, reporting from the steps of the statehouse in Trenton in preparation for the coming rally, confirmed that four members of the NAtional Socialist Movement were taken to a hospital for treatment after the confrontation, which, he said, took place at a church in Pemberton.

Two people said to be affiliated with the Anti-Racist Action Network were arrested and charged in connection with the fight, Jones said. The arrestees were each held on $50,000 bail in Burlington County jail.

A report from the One People’s Project independent media Web site reported an altercation between the two groups that occurred at a motel in Bordentown. In that account, the Web site reported, six Nazis were injured and two people from the opposition group were arrested.

Jones said he hadn’t heard of a disturbance at a motel, and it’s possible these two accounts are different versions of the same incident.

Jones said the Nazi group had been meeting at the church in Pemberton, which he did not name.

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New Black Panthers and Jewish Defense Organization to counter-protest Neo-Nazis in Trenton

Saturday, April 16th, 2011
RIVERSIDE, CA - OCTOBER 24:  Counter-protester...

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Large number of troopers expected to keep Statehouse scene calm

When members of the neo-Nazi group the National Socialist Movement holds a demonstration outside the Statehouse in Trenton Saturday, they will find opposition from members of the Trenton-based New Black Panther Party and the militant Jewish Defense Organization.

The National Socialist Movement obtained a permit from the State Police for no more than 100 people to demonstrate. The organizers stated they are protesting illegal immigration. The New Black Panthers and the Jewish Defense Organization are protesting against what they see as a hate group.

A large number of state troopers are expected to keep the demonstrators apart.

Divine Allah, the New Black Panthers’ youth minister and a former Trenton city council candidate, said Friday, “It’s not about violence, it’s not about fighting fire with fire. It’s about standing up and not letting this pass by. We say death to white supremacy. That’s why we’re going to be out there on Saturday.”

The National Socialist Movement demonstration is set to begin at 1 p.m.

Friday, a squad of about 20 troopers practices for the event in front of the Statehouse. State Police officials said demonstrations will be permitted as long as they are peaceful.

“There will be a zero-tolerance policy regarding any type of violent or inappropriate behavior,” they said. “For the safety of all people, the general public and any counter protesters will be accommodated in a separate, but nearby area from the NSM.”

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Sun Herald photographer’s exhibit on Ku Klux Klan featured at USM

Saturday, April 16th, 2011
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HATTIESBURG — Passing the Torch: Documenting the 21st Century Ku Klux Klan, an exhibit of photographs by Southern Miss graduate and Sun Herald staff photographer James Edward Bates, will appear Monday to May 30 at The University of Southern Mississippi’s Cook Library.

Bates, who was inducted into the Southern Miss School of Mass Communication and Journalism Hall of Fame in November, has been working on the project for more than 13 years.

“Many people believe the KKK has died off, or that it’s a relic from the 1960s,” Bates said. “But it exists in the 21st century, and I think it’s important that people have the opportunity to see the photos and to talk about what they mean.” Bates will speak to students in classes from several disciplines while the exhibit is on display.

“The exhibit represents an excellent opportunity for the community to address difficult issues,” said Curtis Austin, professor of history and director of the Center for Black Studies, one of several campus offices sponsoring the exhibit. “The fact that the KKK and other hate groups continue to exist in America is obviously very disturbing, and the need to discuss these issues remains as important as ever.”

The exhibit is also sponsored by the School of Mass Communication and Journalism, University Libraries, the College of Arts and Letters, the Center for Oral History and Cultural Heritage, and the departments of anthropology and sociology, communication studies, history and political science and international development and affairs.

Bates has exhibited the work in England, France and Scotland, but never in the United States.

“Obviously, this is a sensitive subject, and I’ve run into plenty of resistance from editors and gallery owners who aren’t exactly eager to pursue this project,” Bates said. “I’m pleased that my alma mater has agreed to put on the exhibit.”

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Error shaves 5 years off skinhead’s sentence

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Aaron Wood, a 34-year-old North Philly handyman, was shot dead April 16, 1989, as he walked between two parked cars near Girard College.

Seventeen years later, police arrested Thomas Gibison, a violent skinhead from Newark, Del., who they said killed Wood as part of a racist ritual to “earn” a spiderweb tattoo.

But Gibison dodged a life sentence for first-degree murder when one holdout juror caused his 2008 trial to end in a bizarre split verdict. He was convicted of weapons offenses and conspiracy to commit murder – but found not guilty of the murder itself – and sentenced to a total of 12 1/2 to 25 years in prison.

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Drastic Change: From Skinhead to Nurse

Friday, April 15th, 2011

before and after europics Drastic Change: From Skinhead to Nurse

For one wayward man whose soul was locked in the hatred, ignorance and bigotry associated with the skinhead culture, an epiphany occurred unlike few others in recorded history.

Horst Strub was a thirty-five year-old man whose name is now Monica. The former neo-Nazi became not only a woman but also moved from the far right politically to the furthest left he/she could possibly go by becoming a candidate for Germany’s state parliament for the Social Democrats.

In Monika’s own words:

“I am not trying to hide my past and I never have done, either from the fact that I was a man or the fact that I was a member of the far right scene, but now I am a different person and I have completely broken ties with the NPD. I am a true socialist.”

Monika/Horst should really make up his/her mind, as life is short and confusing enough without knowing whether you hate people different from yourself as viewed from either a male or female perspective or support this or that political stance. For two years (2000-2002) Strub was an active member of the right-wing extremist National Democratic Party (NPD).

Strub is an expert at reinventing him/herself and the photo above shows her before her sex reassignment surgery sporting copped hair, a beard and a bomber jacket (only the swastika is missing.)

Monika is confident that her current position is a life long one and claims that as a result she has become a victim of harassment from the far right. Her home has been vandalized but she has decided to go ahead and campaign for the Social Democrats.

Time (and hormones) will probably tell.

Questions remain:

How could Monika ever top her transformations?  What could she become next?

Turn back into a man?

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Ex-skinhead speaks out against hate groups

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

T.J. Leyden is a speaker of the “scared straight” school: fast, loud, sometimes profane.

The former neo-Nazi paced the room telling of his journey from volatile skinhead to an anti-racism activist and consultant for the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Speaking Monday to Stetson University students, the author of the book “Skinhead Confessions” opened a window on the violent subculture that was once his passion. He warned its numbers are growing and its recruiting is more sophisticated and pervasive than most would suspect.

And Florida is one of the places where those numbers are troubling. By Leyden’s calculations, Florida is the No. 3 state for hate groups with 56 active groups.

The Southern Poverty Law Center uses a different methodology to define active hate groups, but it, too, puts the state third behind California and Texas.

The group’s 2011 report lists 49 racial hate groups in Florida, including five in Jacksonville and four in Orlando

Ramee Indralingam, chairman of Stetson’s chemistry department, arranged for the talk after becoming concerned about incidents involving intolerance last year.

“I was looking for somebody who would speak against any kind of hate crime,” she said and was impressed with what listeners said about Leyden’s talks.

A compact man in his 40s with close-cropped hair, a goatee and designer-style glasses, Leyden is no longer the frightening figure he was in the 1990s, although he still has the purposeful stride of the U.S. Marine he once was.

He usually wears long-sleeved shirts and his 3-inch SS lightning-bolt neck tattoo is gone through laser removal. His three tattoos of swastikas and large crossed hammers of the skinhead groups called “Hammerskins” are visible only in his PowerPoint slides.

Leyden was drawn to the skinhead scene of Southern California in the 1980s. He came for the punk rock music and stayed for the gang violence.

As he got older, he served jail time but avoided felony convictions and studied the ideology of white separatism.

“Separatism is the politically correct term for racism,” he observed, noting that hate groups come in all colors.

And he continued recruiting for white hate groups while in the Marines until 1990.

“I was not discharged for being a racist. I was discharged for drinking my weight in alcohol.”

When he got out, he married a woman who shared his ideology — a chilling photo in his presentation is a snapshot of her, obviously pregnant, wearing a T-shirt saying “Aryan baby” — and he went to work recruiting for the cause. He said he often targeted middle school students because of their impressionability.

Only when he pondered the kind of future his own boys would face within the movement did he begin an 18-month journey away from his former life — a journey that culminated when his mother suggested he go to the Simon Wiesenthal Center and share what he knew about neo-Nazi organizations.

He said the visit turned into a two-and-half week debriefing. The debriefing turned into a new life as a lecturer and consultant to law enforcement, schools and the military.

“It’s kind of a penance to do this,” he said.

Leyden is slated to speak in June at the Summit Against Violent Extremism in Dublin sponsored by Google Ideas and Council on Foreign Relations.

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Neo Nazis To Rally At War Memorial Site

Thursday, April 14th, 2011
Members of the Detroit-based National Socialis...

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TRENTON, N.J. – A national group of Neo Nazis will rally this Saturday in Trenton, N.J., at a public war memorial site. After the rally, the group will be entertained by a punk band named after the deadly gas used to kill millions in the Holocaust.

As many as 100 members of the National Socialist Movement plan to meet at Trenton’s state capitol, which includes The War Memorial, a structure built to honor veterans of World War I.

News of the rally first surfaced on the Internet in February, but the event is getting more attention as the NSM fully intends to protest.

The NSM is a national movement and it is using You Tube to promote the event, as well as its Web site.

The Web site NJ.com says law enforcement agencies will be monitoring the event , where the NSM will protest high taxes, illegal immigration and crime.

Anti-defamation officials want local hotels to boycott event guests, while some other local events have been moved.

“In my opinion, I don’t consider myself a Nazi, I don’t consider myself a skinhead, I consider myself a patriot of the United States with European heritage,” NSM chief of staff Jason Hiecke said Tuesday in the NJ.com article.

The NSM says they will be in Trenton for two days, with their national meeting on Friday, and the public rally on Saturday at the State Capitol between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The group will also have two live music acts playing at an undisclosed location after the rally.

See NSM Group Notice About Event

“The after event … will include a very large BBQ meal. We will have several organizations that will have merchandise and/or memorabilia available. We will have a great meal scheduled for all, then two bands live bands scheduled,” the NSM says on its Web site.

One music group at the post-event is from Iowa and called Zyklon B.

Zyklon B (or Cyclon B) was the gas used to kill millions of people at Nazi concentration camps during the Holocaust.

The NSM claims to be “the largest open National Socialist Party and Whites Civil Rights organization in America.”

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Swastika Black & Red Round Swastika Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Celtic Cross Red, White & Black Round Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Aryan Nations Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Maine Invisible Empire & Knights KKK Patches

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Black & White German Eagle SS Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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N.S.S.F. Totenkopf Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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German Nazi Eagle 1944 Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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Nationalist Front Square Patch

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Christian Knights KKK Patch

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

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SF DA Working To Charge Skinhead With Hate Crime

Monday, April 11th, 2011
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SAN FRANCISCO — San Francisco Police Department’s statistics show most 2010 hate crime investigations were on crimes that were proven to be motivated by sexual biases, i.e. anti-gay, anti-woman.

But city prosecutors said Wednesday that recent reports showed a rise in racially-related hate crimes in the San Francisco, and they involved white supremacist skinheads.

Last July, a plaza in San Francisco’s multicultural Western Addition was the site of a violent, racially motivated attack that nearly killed a 56-year-old homeless man.

“It’s a case that involves a suspect who slashed an African-American man with a knife. We believed that the knife that was used was a Nazi blade,” said SF Assistant District Attorney Victor Hwang.

Hwang calls it a hate crime and says the suspect – 40-year-old Matthew Swan of San Francisco — has ties to white supremacist groups.

Prosecutors say Swan was also arrested in 2008 for allegedly spray-painting a swastika and other Nazi imagery on the walls of this Union Square garage.

Hwang also spoke about a December incident in which an Asian male was attacked in the city’s upscale Marina District.

“This is an unrelated incident that occurred late last year of four white male suspects with shaved heads who attacked an Asian male for apparently no prior provocation, no prior reasons, yelling ‘White Power’ as they attacked,” said Hwang.

It was the latest in a string of incidents — including a November attack on two Mexican nationals outside this bar — that had prosecutors warning the public of a rise of in white supremacist hate crimes.

“It’s fairly peaceful out here, I haven’t seen incidents out here. But something of that magnitude, that is a hate crime.”

Swan’s public defender declined comment. And the judge at his hearing the day before disagreed with prosecutors that there was evidence of a hate crime.

The DA’s office admitted Wednesday that they were weighing adding additional hate crime allegations to the case, but prosecutors said that’s because undocumented immigrants may be reluctant to report hate crimes to police.

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Police identify suspect in California synagogue bombing

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Los Angeles (CNN) — Police in Santa Monica, California, were searching Saturday for an “extremely dangerous” 61-year-old man in connection with a bombing at a synagogue.

Authorities began their investigation Thursday after the blast at Chabad House.

Investigators initially called the explosion an accident, but on Friday, they determined foul play was involved in the explosion, police said.

Police spokesman Sgt. Jay Trisler told CNN on Saturday that authorities were still searching for Ron Hirsch, 61, in connection with Thursday’s bombing.

Investigators began searching for Hirsch after finding evidence at the damaged synagogue, the Santa Monica police said in a statement.

“Investigation has determined that items found in and around the mechanism are linked to an individual by the name of Ron Hirsch, identified as a transient,” a police statement said. “Hirsch is known to frequent synagogues and Jewish community centers seeking charity from patrons. Hirsch is considered extremely dangerous.”

The explosion shattered windows at the synagogue and sent a 30-pound pipe into the roof of an adjacent house but no one was injured, CNN affiliate KABC reported.

Authorities do not know the motive for the bombing. Hirsch also faces charges of possession of a destructive device, police said.

Authorities reversed their initial determination Thursday that the explosion was the result of an industrial accident involving cement and other materials, Santa Monica police said.

Further investigation by bomb technicians unearthed a large portion of the cement found at the scene and uncovered materials indicating the device appeared to have been deliberately constructed, police said.

Santa Monica is a coastal city adjacent to Los Angeles.

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