According to Telegram posts located by Counter Extremism Project (CEP) researchers, several neo-Nazi groups in certain locations in the United States are planning an antisemitic “National Day of Hate” on Saturday, February 25. The participants are identified as the National Socialist Movement, two regional active club chapters in Iowa and California, and a small New York-based group. Other groups around the country may also be participating. The announcement post on Telegram encouraged propaganda activities such as dropping banners, putting up stickers and fliers, and vandalism through graffiti.
While activities such as those listed in the announcement are bad enough, there is always the concern that some participants will decide to go beyond the suggested actions.
The Telegram announcement cites 4 groups as the participants, but, clearly, the purpose of the announcement is to get others involved as well. Police in Chicago and New York City have said that they are monitoring the situation:
The Chicago Police Department said in a statement on Thursday, “At this time, there is no actionable intelligence,” according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “We continue to actively monitor the situation.”
A similar statement by the NYPD circulating online said that officers should maintain “elevated situational awareness” on Saturday – the Jewish Sabbath – for violent extremism.
While an NYPD spokesperson said while there are currently no credible threats, “out of an abundance of caution, the Department will deploy additional resources to sensitive locations, including houses of worship, throughout the weekend,” according to local news.
I’ve written a few posts lately on the issue of creeping fascism, the growing assault by state legislative and executive bodies taking aim at progressive ideas in schools, workplaces and society at large. Here, the fascism isn’t creeping. This “National Day of Hate” is in-your-face fascism intended to keep the public – and in this case, especially our Jewish neighbors – afraid of the extreme right-wing.
Jews have long faced significant anti-Semitic hate. In just one recent example, a twitter user, Rachel Bitecofer, posted a video of a man at an intersection, yelling hateful messages through a bullhorn at any car he thought was carrying Jews. Other common actions have included the desecration of graves, graffiti and vandalism at synagogues and other Jewish centers, the distribution of flyers throughout neighborhoods and, of course, attacks and murders.
Their goal is fear, and the extremists know that the more we fear them, the more power they have. Yes, caution is necessary when combating hate, but fear is not. One of the best ways to combat activities such as this is to keep your eyes open and if you see people participating in hateful activities, report it. For Feb. 25th, when this specific initiative is planned, keep a special look out for synagogues and Jewish Civic Centers or other Jewish gathering places. If you aren’t able to do that – for whatever reason – please at least spread the word so others can. Let’s help shove the fascists back under the rock they crawled out from.