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88 86ed in Valley Forge, PA
by One People's Project Tuesday, Sep. 28, 2004 at 7:20 AM
VALLEY FORGE, PA--Over 100 white supremacists turned out for the latest rally put on by the National Socialist Movement (NSM) at Valley Forge Historical Park, while a mile away in the same park double that number turned out for a rally countering the message of hate with a call for unity.
VALLEY FORGE, PA--Over 100 white supremacists turned out for the latest rally put on by the National Socialist Movement (NSM) at Valley Forge Historical Park, while a mile away in the same park double that number turned out for a rally countering the message of hate with a call for unity. While both these rallies were taking place, a third scenario of direct action also emerged just outside both rallies.
For over six weeks, both white supremacists and anti-fascist groups were organizing to either participate or counter the demonstration that was to take place. This rally, which fell on Yom Kippur (by coincidence, say the NSM), was promoted by the NSM to be as big as the Battle of York, the Jan 12, 2002 confrontation between neo-Nazis and antifa that took place outside a York, Pa. library where the World Church of the Creator held a “public meeting”. Valley Forge Historical Park takes up over 700 acres and easily accommodated both the NSM and official counter-rally, Rally for Social Justice organized by civil-rights attorney Phil Stinson of the Center for Education Rights. While this latest hatemonger event did indeed pull out the same numbers for both sides as there were in York, the volatility of the event, while significant, was not of the same caliber.
The most explosive moments came hour and a half before the NSM rally was set to begin. As those planning to participate came into the park or to the staging area, they were met by more than 100 members of various anti-fascist groups. When neo-Nazis either drove into or left the park via the main entranceway, they were met by a gauntlet of antifa who hurled insults and hit at their vehicles. The gauntlet continued on for an hour terrifying some of the neo-Nazis so much that a few of them took to driving off the road, onto the lawn to escape on the main road. Some of the hatemongers managed to park their cars at the Visitor Center parking lot and walked up the hill to the staging area entrance point. Many of them were also set upon by antifa who confronted them as they walked up. One of the neo-Nazis, who along with his friends were coming from the NSM home state of Minnesota, gave a Nazi salute as he walked into a group of approximately 30 to 50 antifa. The response was a full on scuffle that ended with police breaking the crowd up with pepper spray, but by that time the neo-Nazi was beaten so bad he had to be taken to the hospital. His friends made one attempt to intervene during the melee, but in the end stood back and tended to him after the police dispersed the crowd. As they waited for an ambulance on a nearby corner, they were joined by some of their colleagues, one of them Rebecca Bray, who regularly posts as “Apathy” on Stormfront, and is reportedly dating New Jersey WP Walter Zilinski.
There were other confrontations as well. Some were particularly volatile, such as when a WP wearing a shirt that said “White Boy” and a confederate flag hat was set upon by female antifa. Others were simply loud, angry discussions and went no further. There were rumors of a neo-Nazi being stabbed, but at press time this was unconfirmed and it is not known if this actually happened. With the exception of the pepper spray from police, there were no reports of antifa taking any injuries. The confrontations ended at 2:00, when police shut down the park. It was known beforehand that the park entranceways were to be shut at a certain time, and this shut out a number of people and groups like the New Black Panther Party that came late to the park. The head of the Philadelphia chapter of the NSM was also among those who were not allowed in. When the police advanced to shut the park down, many of the antifa started to exit and dispersed. It was at this point that police arrested one of them. He was detained for a few hours before being released.
In all, at least four arrests were reported. Three reportedly included some of the WP attendees; Laszlo Gede, who was sporting a shirt from EURO, David Duke’s organization, Amanda Essex, 35 of New York who reportedly suffered from panic attacks, and a third person only known as “Ben”.
The NSM rally brought out the usual suspects, many of them also from the Pennsylvania faction of Aryan Nations who co-sponsored the event. Among them was August Kreis, who recently moved from Pennsylvania to Sebring, FL. He gave the local media the most salacious sound bytes with his trademark boasting of aggressive acts that he never seems to engage in. “Nobody understands anything unless it’s backed with violence, and we are not a non-violent organization,” he said. “When the time comes, we will be violent.” Kreis however, is known for making threats that never come to fruition.
After the rally, the NSM went to an undisclosed location for an after party. Many antifascists went to a show featuring anti-racist bands that raised money for Anti-Racist Action.
Meanwhile the Rally for Social Justice featured musical acts and speakers, among them, Michael Berg, whose son Nick was the hostage in Iraq that was beheaded earlier this year. Buses transported participants to this rally, but many who wanted to attend were unable to find the pick up spot and ended up in either the NSM rally or the entranceway melee. This rally was supposed to go from 1PM to 4PM, but police asked organizers to wrap up an hour early.
It was not long before chatter about the rally ended up on the Internet. On Stormfront a poster named “WelshWarrior” was pleased about the rally. “My folks live only 2 miles away from the entrance to Valley Forge National Historical Park and are members and very active in the Washington Memorial Chapel on the park,” the poster wrote. “They are not White supermisists (sic) as nor am I but they, as I are WN and support the efforts of all WN organizations. I have yet to contact them about it, but I'm sure they were thrilled by the gathering.”
Several of the neo-Nazis however posted their anger about the beat downs they took, laying all the blame on the police. The organizer of this rally, NSM head Jeff Schoep spoke on the Vonbluvens internet radio show (the host Mike Blevins, did not make it to the rally due to lack of funds) charged the police with leading neo-Nazis to areas where they can be attacked. According to him, one of his unit commanders witnessed a group of his supporters, among them a pregnant woman, being attacked by a “black bloc”. “He immediate intervened, got in the way of them,” he said. “There was police standing around there – there were riot police all over the place – and he said to the police, ‘Why aren’t you doing something?’ and they said, ‘You should just leave,’ and he said ‘No, we’re going to the supporters section,’ and they said, ‘ You go up there, you’re going to get attacked more. There’s even more up there.” There is no other account of this particular incident taking place.
Local anti-fascists have said they will monitor what, if anything, will come out of the new NSM unit in Philadelphia.
THE 14 LICENSE PLATES
Below are the plate numbers of vehicles of some NSM rally supporters that we saw either in the parking lots, going through the antifa gauntlet, or simply going down the road when they couldn’t get into the park. If you have any more information that you can provide, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
YLD 6421 811PXW
North Carolina Plate
YLX 0396 YKP 0207 YJU6771 (pickup truck) YLD 6421 FRF 7693 YJM 5833 FTZ 7908 (Silver Mercedes Benz) WR0708P (Jeep) JWW87 (Maroon Ford Escort) DVR 8728