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Montana lawmakers denounce plans for neo-Nazi rally

(Reuters) Top Montana Democratic and Republican lawmakers on Tuesday (Dec. 27) warned neo-Nazis they would find “no safe haven” for a rally that could include guns planned for next month in a mountain town where white nationalists have threatened Jewish residents.

The lawmakers include both Democrats and U.S. Rep. Ryan Zinke, recently picked by Republican President-elect Donald Trump to be interior secretary.

“We say to those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views that they shall find no safe haven here,” Zinke wrote in an open letter also signed by Democratic Montana Gov. Steve Bullock; U.S. Sens. Steve Daines, a Republican, and Jon Tester, a Democrat; and Republican Attorney General Tim Fox.

Neo-Nazis plan to march in January in the mountain ski town of Whitefish in Montana’s remote and rugged northwestern reaches. The march is to support the mother of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer. Sherry Spencer is facing pressure from community members to sell a building she owns in Whitefish because of its ties to her son and to disavow her son’s beliefs.

Community members held a vigil and a protest earlier this month in front of the building.

As pressure mounted against the building, the neo-Nazi and white supremacist website Daily Stormer urged its readers in an article to “take action” against Jews in the Whitefish area.

In its article, the Daily Stormer called for an “old fashioned Troll Storm” against community members and published their names and phone numbers along with yellow Jewish stars superimposed over their photographs. It also said that because of gun laws in Montana, “we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles.”

The website contains many anti-Semitic descriptions and images of Jews but says it does not endorse violence.

Spencer is president of the National Policy Institute, a think tank within the alt-right movement, which includes neo-Nazis and white supremacists. In a video posted online by the Atlantic Monthly magazine, some institute members could be seen hailing Trump’s election victory with Nazi-era salutes after Spencer addressed the group at its conference last month in Washington, D.C.

Spencer has said on Twitter he might pursue Zinke’s House of Representatives seat if Zinke is confirmed as Trump’s interior secretary.

Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial told Reuters in a phone interview last week that his department had assigned extra patrols to the homes and businesses of the residents identified in the article. However, Dial said there had been no reports of harassment or intimidation of the Jewish community that rose to the level of a crime.

Dial also said FBI officials told him they interviewed Spencer and he denounced the Daily Stormer postings.

In a statement to Reuters, Spencer’s father said he and his wife “love our son, but do not agree with his polemics, societal desires or his extreme political leanings.”

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  • People are already ridiculing them for being stupid enough to march outside in Montana in January.

    Remember neo Nazis, it is a custom in Whitefish Montana to stick your tongue and gonads on the nearest frozen flagpoles. 🙂

  • Sherry Spencer is facing pressure from community members to sell a building she owns in Whitefish because of its ties to her son and disavow her son’s beliefs. Community members held a vigil and a protest earlier this month in front of the building.
    Where’s the outrage! LOL. Like hearing a pin drop.

  • Ironic in that this story is filed under the category — anti-Semitism.
    I wonder if the story of Jews putting pressure on Spencer’s mother to sell her building was filed under “anti-Goyimism”.

  • What do you think about Sherry Spencer getting pressured by so-called “community members”, even though she herself apparently has NOT been a participant nor a supporter of her son’s white supremacy movement?

    That pressure stuff seems to be the cause of this upcoming Neo-Nazi March. Maybe cutting off the “community members” pressure would cut off the Nazi march as well ?

  • Pressured to do what? Not engage in open hostility to her neighbors? She is being used as an excuse for people to use intimidation tactics against fellow citizens. Your apologetics for neo nazis is ridiculous, unsurprising, and your usual repulsive rhetoric.

  • There is blame on both sides. There should be no community pressure on her. Her husband stated that they do not agree with their son’s viewpoint. Even if they did it’s no one else’s business as long as she breaks no laws. As long as the neo-nazis do not incite to violence or engage in violence, they have the right to March and carry legal weapons. The Left, especially the Progressives and Regressives are showing an increasing intolerance toward any speech or positions with which they do not agree. The 1st amendment protects speech, even the hate speech of the alt-right and the racism against whites demonstrated by the social justice warrior movement.

  • The racism, sexism, heterosexism, ethnocentrism, anti-Semitism, and anti-Islamicism which informed the Trump victory does not go away as the great man assumes high office; it becomes emboldened.

    The whining here about “pressure” on Spencer’s mother is a case in point. She has every right to not sell her property. People who want her to also have every right to ask that she do that. “Outrage” over that is only called for by those who seek to embolden the American fascist movement. Spencer has a right to say whatever he wants to. He does not have the right to do so free from criticism. This is what right-wing whining about “political correctness” is all about: they want a right to say racist etc. crap free from criticism for it. That’s not going to happen no matter how much they whine about it. Actions have consequences. Deal with it.

  • That assumes Naziism is reasonable. Let the scumbags march. Nobody’s stopping them.

    In the 1980s a small Ku Klux Klan group obtained a permit to march in Austin, Texas. The musician Steve Fromholtz led a counterdemonstration called “Moon the Klan.” The twenty or so Klan members marched. A crowd of about 5,000 watched and turned around, dropped trou and mooned the pointyheads as they went by.

  • Where did I oppose their march?

    I not only encourage them to march, but to follow usual traditions of Whitehead Montana for January in the annual balls to the frozen pole contest.

  • Remember if you are going to march:

    T shirt and shorts are appropriate for the time of year. Plus it is common custom to place bare parts of flesh to metal objects.

  • And do you likewise wish to blame and harass and pressure Dylann Roof’s mother for her son’s murders? You likewise want to go after the innocent grandma or grandpa or aunties of the black Carr Brothers (rape-and-murder tag-team in Wichita) for the heinous crimes that those guys committed?

    VERY bad behavior is potentially on the table, when people start going after the innocent relatives of criminals. Are you sure your own family tree is 100 percent squeaky clean? No rap sheets hidden down in the roots, right?

  • Those are your words, not mine. They had to learn it from somewhere. If they were people you were not so sympathetic to, you would be casting aspersions on such parents. Not so quick to call them “innocent”? Probably. My opinion on the subject is, a complete lack of concern. No laws are being broken. People are expressing opinions. Social pressure is social pressure.

    That being said, the march is done to harass and inspire fear to Jewish residents of the town. Lets not lie and pretend it is based on some sort of justifying actions here. They are more than allowed to make a public demonstration, within reasonable limits. My sole major comment was that to do so in Montana in January is a bit stupid as event planning goes. Its pretty damn cold there that time of year.