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NWCHD Archive Launched -

The Building Democracy Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity / Coalition for Human Dignity / Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment Publications Archive.

We begin with the 1994 book, The Northwest Imperative: Documenting a Decade of Hate and the bi-weekly newsletter, The Northwest Update. Check back often for additional archive items, including copies of the journal, The Dignity Report, reports, and other publications from these outstanding organizations.

To visit the archive, click here, or select "NWCHD ARCHIVE" from the main menu.



Backlash: Anti-Immigrant Groups Threaten Gains In Rights -

2005 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Immigration Act of 1965, a cornerstone of Civil Rights legislation, along with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Reflecting the spirit of the times, the Act was crafted as a corrective to the nation’s history of racism and discrimination in immigration. It removed barriers based on national origin, and measures favoring immigrants from Western European countries. It also opened the door to more diverse patterns of immigration.
 
Forty years later, those changes and the Civil Rights tradition are under attack. Anti-immigrant sentiment is sweeping the country like wildfire. Stoked by political successes in Arizona and Washington, D.C. and fanned by national and grassroots anti-immigrant groups, nativism has moved from the margins to the mainstream.



New Report on the "Minutemen" - We are pleased to announce the latest CNC special report, "Shell Games: The 'Minutemen' and Vigilante Anti-Immigrant Politics." The report is available here. (pdf)

OP ED: The Minutemen are Coming -

By Devin Burghart and David Ostendorf

From a small band of aging volunteers patrolling the Arizona desert for “illegals,” the anti-immigrant vigilantes known as the “Minutemen” are attempting to organize a muscular force well into the nation’s interior. With some forty chapters in eighteen states, Minutemen will soon arrive in Chicago to “protect” the city from the “invasion” of the undocumented masses.



New Report on FAIR -

The Center for New Community's Building Democracy Initiative has released a new report on the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). It is available here. [requires adobe acrobat reader]



BDI Staff in the News -

During the investigation of the Lefkow murders, BDI staffers were inundated with media inquiries. For a listing of stories quoting BDI staffers during that week, please read on...



St. Louis Bands Raise Money for Hate Crime Victims -

St. Louis musician Nate Jones of the band Con Artist organized a Rock Against Racism concert to benefit the family of Nick Holmes, a St. Louis-native who was killed during a racially-motivated fight while attending college at the University of Kentucky, Lexington, in 2002. Jones, who recently learned of the incident, explains, “At first we’re just concentrating on Nick and helping his family along. And then we’re going to try to focus on some other victims or their families. Whoever needs the help.” The concert, held at the Ground Floor in Belleville, Illinois on January 14, 2005, featured Antonio Killion, Dredding Monday, Con Artist, the Gothic Blues Quartet, and the Red Light Runners (River Front Times, January 12, 2005).

http://music.riverfronttimes.com/issues/2005-01-12/music/radarstation.html

http://turnitdown.newcomm.org/index.php?option=content&task=view&id=81&Itemid=36



Bozeman, MT School Dist. Passes H.R. Resolution -

In response to National Alliance leaflets that have appeared in several Bozeman, Montana neighborhoods over the past year, the Bozeman School Board passed a resolution on January 10, 2005 titled “All Are Welcome Here.” The resolution, proposed by the Gallatin Valley Human Rights Task Force, has been endorsed by the Bozeman City Commission, Montana State University, and the Gallatin County Commission (Bozeman Daily Chronicle, January 12, 2005).



Indigenous Peoples' Reality Conference -

INDIGENOUS PEOPLES' REALITY CONFERENCE: The Committee of 500 Years of Dignity and Resistance, and the Justice & Witness Ministries, Racial Justice Team of the United Church of Christ are co-sponsoring "Indigenous Peoples' Realities," the fourth annual conference on racist imagery in the popular culture. The event will take place April 6-8, 2002 at the Cleveland Airport Marriott in Cleveland, Ohio. Keynote speaker for this year's event is Olympic Gold Medallist Billy Mills. The event also features guest speakers Charlene Teters of the National Coalition on Racism in Sports and in the Media, and District of Columbia Council-member Carol Schwartz.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 2002



Turn It Down Events (March 2002) -

TURN IT DOWN EVENTS: On March 13th, 2002 over 400 students at Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, attended a Turn It Down presentation as part of the school’s Diversity Week. On March 14th, the Turn It Down Campaign, the Positive Youth Foundation, and the Winnetka Youth Organization (WYO) co-sponsored a workshop on confronting racism at the WYO’s offices in Winnetka, Illinois. In late April, the Center and the WYO will co-host a training for select high school and college students on responding to bigotry through building anti-bigotry student organizations.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 2002



TURN IT DOWN ON VH1 -

TURN IT DOWN ON VH1: An upcoming special on white power music will feature an interview with Justin Massa talking about the campaign and the dangers of white power music. The show, “A VH1 News Special: Inside Hate Rock” is slated to air in February 2002. Visit www.turnitdown.com for the latest.

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2002



Turn It Down Events -

TURN IT DOWN EVENTS: On January 5, 2002 the NFTY Jewish camp in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin, sponsored a presentation for the 130 students from the Chicagoland area visiting the camp for a winter retreat. On January 19th, the Racial and Ethnic Reconciliation Committee of the Presbytery of Chicago included a presentation on the dangers of youth recruitment by white supremacists in their daylong event “Everyone Has A Place At The Table.”

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2002



Springfield, Illinois Hosts Diversity Celebration -

SPRINGFIELD, ILLINOIS HOSTS DIVERSITY CELEBRATION: The Springfield Coalition for Human Dignity and Diversity, the Greater Springfield Interfaith Association, the City of Springfield Race Relations Task Force, and the Helping Hands Homeless Shelter co-sponsored a diversity celebration on July 14, 2001. The event, in part a response to the presence of the World Church of the Creator at the local library, attracted over 200 people. According to Sandy Robinson, the Springfield director of community relations, “Any time you have an individual that speaks about the things the gentleman from East Peoria speaks about, there’s going to be a community reaction” (Springfield Journal-Review, July 15, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, July 2001



CNC In Cincinnati -

CNC IN CINCINNATI: On July 25, 2001, Building Democracy Initiative director Devin Burghart traveled to Cincinnati, Ohio to conduct a workshop at the 53rd annual conference of the International Association of Official Human Rights Agencies (IAOHRA). The 2-hour multimedia presentation on the international dimensions of white nationalism was attended by nearly a hundred conference participants.

Source: Midwest Action Report, July 2001



CNC Releases New Report On Anti-Immigrant Group -

CNC RELEASES NEW REPORT ON ANTI-IMMIGRANT GROUP: As part of our ongoing work to counter the rise of anti-immigrant sentiment, the Center for New Community’s Building Democracy Initiative has released a new background brief on Glenn Spencer’s Voice of Citizens Together / American Patrol. The report is available online at our website [click here for the report].

Source: Midwest Action Report, June 2001



Country Against Racism -

COUNTRY AGAINST RACISM: The Center for New Community is proud to announce that the Turn It Down Campaign will host the first-ever “Country Against Racism” show at the Hideout on August 23, 2001. Up-and-coming artists Kelly Hogan & Andy Hopkins, Trigger Gospel, and the Riptones are set to perform. In addition to great music, this benefit show for the Turn It Down Campaign will also give out door prizes from Bloodshot Records, Heaven on Seven, Desserts by Rebecca, and more. For more information, visit www.turnitdown.com, e-mail [email protected], or call 708-848-0319.

Source: Midwest Action Report, June 2001



Center Addresses St. Mary’s University -

CENTER ADDRESSES ST. MARY’S UNIVERSITY: Center Building Democracy Initiative director Devin Burghart spoke to over 80 students and faculty members at St. Mary’s University in Winona, Minnesota on April 25, 2001. His presentation on “The State of Hate in the Midwest” was a keynote to kick-off a week-long series of education events on the dangers of white nationalism.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2001



Turning It Down In Johnson County, Kansas -

TURNING IT DOWN IN JOHNSON COUNTY, KANSAS: On May 11, 2001, Center staff traveled to Johnson County, Kansas to conduct a Turn It Down presentation at the Shawnee Mission Horizons High School (formerly known as the Shawnee Mission Alternative Education Program). Following the presentation and a question and discussion period, the enthusiastic crowd of over 120 “at risk” students took away books, buttons and information on how to get more involved in the Turn It Down Campaign.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2001



U of C Students Respond To David Horowitz; Center Condemns Visit -

UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO STUDENTS RESPOND TO DAVID HOROWITZ; CENTER CONDEMNS VISIT: An ad-hoc coalition of 50 University of Chicago students responded to a speaking engagement by David Horowitz on May 8, 2001. Horowitz is in the midst of a national college speaking tour about his “Ten Reasons Why Reparations for Slavery is a Bad Idea – And Racist Too”. The College Republicans and the Young America’s Foundation sponsored the event. The Center for new Community condemned his speech, stating, “Horowitz’s visit to the University of Chicago will do little more than stir up racial tensions and use discussions of reparations as a platform to assail the civil rights movement.” In an interesting twist, the College Republicans moderating the event would not allow students to directly question Horowitz.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2001



Neighborhood Residents Protest Hammerskin Concert -

NEIGHBORHOOD RESIDENTS PROTEST HAMMERSKIN CONCERT: After being alerted by the Center for New Community and subsequent media reports about a planned white power concert using their neighborhood as a gathering place, a group of residents in the Springfield, Missouri center-city district put up lawn signs declaring "Hate is not a neighborhood value."

When the white power concertgoers stopped at the city-center home to pick up the directions to the concert, they were greeted by a group of more than forty friendly, but concerned protesters across the street. In addition to signs, Kathy Clancy, director of the Mayor's Commission on Human Rights, placed an advertisement in the April 21, 2001 edition of the Springfield News-Leader stating "Hate is not a Springfield value" (News-Leader, April 19-22, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2001



Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes Workshop -

MICHIGAN ALLIANCE AGAINST HATE CRIMES WORKSHOP: The Michigan Alliance Against Hate Crimes is convening an all day training workshop on May 16, 2001 at the Holiday Inn South in Lansing, Michigan. The workshop will focus of the psychological impact of hate crimes on the victim and on community response. Cost: $25.00. For more information contact Cathy Milett at the Michigan Department of Civil Rights - (517) 335-2530.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 2001



Floyd Cochran Visits Chicago -

FLOYD COCHRAN VISITS CHICAGO: Former white supremacist Floyd Cochran visited Chicago March 29, 2001, speaking at the University of Illinois at Chicago and Loyola University. Cochran, a former head of propaganda for the Aryan Nations, spoke about his experiences as a white supremacist and what life has been like since he left the movement. He is currently planning a return trip to the Midwest for this fall. If you are interested in hosting a Floyd Cochran speaking event, please contact the Center for New Community.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 2001



Turn It Down Presentations -

TURN IT DOWN PRESENTATIONS: This month, Turn It Down presentations were held at DePaul University, New Trier High School, and the United Church of Christ of Downer’s Grove. On April 4, 2001 over 700 New Trier students attended three presentations as part of the school’s “Remembering for the Future” week. At DePaul University, 30 students and faculty attended the presentation sponsored by the Activist Student Union on April 11. Following the question and answer portion, one audience member asked for Turn It Down materials to take with his band on tour. On April 29, a group of 35 people attended the presentation at the First Congregational Church - United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, Illinois. A free “Rock Against Bigotry” concert is slated for this September at the Church.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 2001



Illinois House Of Representatives Targets Hate Crime Conspirators -

ILLINOIS HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES TARGETS HATE CRIME CONSPIRATORS: On March 20, 2001, the Illinois House overwhelmingly approved a bill to crack down on hate group leaders who encourage violence. The hate-crime bill was precipitated by the deadly 1999 rampage of Benjamin Smith, a member of the World Church of the Creator. The measure would create a new conspiracy crime, punishable by up to 3 years in prison, for hate group leaders or members who encourage others to commit hate crimes. The measure would also toughen penalties for repeat offenders who commit hate crimes. House members voted 96-10 to send the legislation to the Senate, where a similar bill died last year. But sponsoring Rep. Jeff Schoenberg (D-Evanston) said he is optimistic because senators are pushing a similar bill this year (Chicago Tribune, March 21, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 2001



Turning It Down At Glenbrook North -

TURNING IT DOWN AT GLENBROOK NORTH: Glenbrook North High School in Northbrook, Illinois, hosted a Turn It Down presentation as part of their Diversity Week events on March 14, 2001. Over 450 students attended the event, organized by the GBN Diversity club and teachers. A number of students expressed interest in getting more involved with the Turn It Down campaign and the Center. Upcoming Turn It Down presentations are scheduled for April 11 at DePaul University in Chicago, April 21 at the Shalom Peace Education Conference in downtown Chicago, and April 29 at the United Church of Christ in Downers Grove, Illinois. If you would like to host a Turn It Down presentation or get more involved with the campaign, please contact the Center.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 2001



Regional Human Relations Commission Forms In Northern Chicago Suburbs -

REGIONAL HUMAN RELATIONS COMMISSION FORMS IN NORTHERN CHICAGO SUBURBS: Ten communities have formed a regional North Suburban Human Relations Commission. Bobbie Friedman, former chair of Wilmette's Community Relations Commission, lead the effort, pulling together representatives from village-appointed commissions from Evanston, Skokie, Wilmette, Lincolnwood, Highland Park, Glencoe, Northbrook, Morton Grove, Niles and Deerfield. "We're close together geographically, so we don't want to duplicate each other's work," Friedman said.

On March 19, 2001, the commission’s first project was to hear from Center staff about hate-inspired lyrics associated with "white power music." After the presentation hosted by the Evanston Human Relations Commission, the new commission discussed ways they could work together to get the Turn It Down information to North suburban youth, parents, and teachers. The event also brought additional media scrutiny to Record Breakers, the Hoffman Estates record store that unabashedly sells white power music (Chicago Tribune, March 8, 2001; Chicago Sun-Times, March 19, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 2001



Rocking Against Racism In Selingrove, Pennsylvania -

ROCKING AGAINST RACISM IN SELINGROVE, PENNSYLVANIA: Combining music and politics, former Aryan Nations recruiter Floyd Cochran teamed with the rock band Access 4.6.3 to host “Color Blind: Rock Against Racism 2000.” Nearly 600 young people attended the concert and speech, held at the Selingrove Middle School and sponsored by the Christ United Methodist Church.

Source: Midwest Action Report, February 2001



Turning It Down In Madison, WI -

TURNING IT DOWN IN MADISON, WISCONSIN: The Midwest Treaty Support Network sponsored a Turn It Down presentation at the University of Wisconsin in Madison, on February 23, 2001. Over 80 students, faculty, and community members attended the event. UW-Madison freshman Rachel Jensen said, "I was surprised that there are so many people that support this industry, directly and indirectly, from the artists to the labels, all the way down to those who make the cellophane packaging.”

The Center premiered the newly arrived Turn It Down pins, which feature the Turn It Down logo surrounded by the words “A Campaign Against White Power Music.” If you are interested in hosting a Turn It Down presentation, or want to show your support for the campaign by wearing a TID button, please contact the Center (The Daily Cardinal, February 22, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, February 2001



Facing Hate In East Peoria, Illinois -

FACING HATE IN EAST PEORIA, ILLINOIS: The East Peoria Human Relations Commission hosted a Center for New Community Turn It Down presentation on January 17, 2001. Over 40 people attended the event, including East Peoria Mayor Charles Dobelaire, District Attorney Dennis Triggs, and a number of Human Relations Commission members. According to Human Relations Commission member Dave Mingus, this was the first instance in which an outside group came to East Peoria to speak about the dangers of organized bigotry. 11-year old Jesse Carlson, who attended the event with his family, enthusiastically said that he had never heard white power music before, “But in three years, I will be in high school, and then I’ll be prepared.”

Matt Hale of the World Church of the Creator also attended the event, sending out a press release earlier that day stating that he would attend the meeting and pledging to distribute white power music outside of East Peoria-area high schools. Hale also responded to an initiative by the East Peoria Human Relations Commission to place anti-hate billboards and signs around town. “The World Church of the Creator will be countering the traitors by distributing vast quantities of literature and putting our own signs up around town.” Hale and two supporters attended the workshop (Journal Star, January 18, 2001).

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2001



CNC on Ashcroft -

CNC ON ASHCROFT: On January 10, 2001, the Center for New Community joined numerous other Civil Rights organizations to oppose the nomination of Senator John Ashcroft as Attorney General. While the Center believes that a President should be able to choose a Cabinet, Mr. Ashcroft's past positions on critical issues, and his association with white nationalist groups, raised very serious questions about his capacity to serve as the principal enforcer of civil rights laws.



Klan Rally In Skokie, Illinois Draws Protest -

KLAN RALLY IN SKOKIE, ILLINOIS DRAWS PROTEST: A bitterly cold December 16, 2000 in Skokie did not deter the Ku Klux Klan or protesters from turning out at the Cook County Court House in that community. Twenty Klan members associated with Wisconsin-based Michael McQueeny held their racist spectacle behind a phalanx of law enforcement officers from the Chicago metropolitan area. Some 400 people turned out to counter the Klan's message, including a group committed to nonviolent protest that turned their backs to the Klan on the front lines of the event. Following the rally, a group of racist skinheads attacked an African-American woman walking back to her car. McQueeny has vowed to return to Skokie this summer, as have those who oppose the Klan's racism and hatred. On the Sunday following the rally, Skokie community and religious leaders sponsored a unity rally attended by some 1,400 people.

Source: Midwest Action Report, December 2000



Lutheran Youth Organization Hosts Turn It Down Presentation -

LUTHERAN YOUTH ORGANIZATION HOSTS TURN IT DOWN PRESENTATION: The Lutheran Youth Organization – El Dorado Synod (greater Chicago area) hosted a Turn It Down presentation in the opening worship service of their annual gathering. Over 250 young people from Chicago and the surrounding suburbs attended the event.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 2000



Center Participates In Cornell University Religion And Human Rights Conf. -

CENTER PARTICIPATES IN CORNELL UNIVERSITY RELIGION AND HUMAN RIGHTS CONFERENCE: Center for New Community staff provided leadership at the Cornell University conference on "Religion and Human Rights: Ideology, The Rhetoric of Hate, and the Languages of Reconciliation" November 8-11, 2000 in Ithaca New York. Building Democracy Initiative Director Devin Burghart provided the conference overview on organized hate groups in the U.S. and, with Executive Director David Ostendorf staffed a panel on the theology of hate and on white power music. They also participated in a panel on organizing community responses to hate group activity. The conference brought religious leaders, academics, activists, and students together from across the country to examine the use of religious ideology, language, scripture and imagery to further hate movement activity, and to examine the role of religion in formulating responses to religiously based hate movements.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 2000



Center Attends CMJ Music Marathon Conference -

CENTER ATTENDS CMJ MUSIC MARATHON CONFERENCE: Center staff traveled to New York on October 14-16, 2000 to attend the College Music Journal Music Marathon Conference and raise awareness about Turn It Down: A Campaign Against White Power Music. The conference, the largest event in the independent music industry, attracted over 3,000 participants from record labels, radio stations, bands, distribution outlets, pressing companies, and web portals and services. A number of these companies signed on to the campaign and you can now hear a public service announcement for the Turn It Down campaign on KLBC in Long Beach, California.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 2000



Breaking The Wave - Turning Down Cymophane Records -

BREAKING THE WAVE - TURNING DOWN CYMOPHANE RECORDS: After uncovering the National Alliance’s latest attempts to move white power music from the margins to the mainstream, the Turn It Down Campaign quickly responded, shutting off what could have been a significant pipeline of hate. In July 2000, Center researchers discovered that William Pierce, head of the National Alliance and owner of Resistance Records, gained control of Cymophane Records – a label specializing in national socialist black metal. Under the auspices of National Alliance activist Erich Gliebe, Cymophane had worked out an exclusive distribution deal with the large independent music distributor, Dutch East India Trading Company (DEI). After being contacted by the Turn It Down Campaign, and learning of the neo-Nazi owners behind Cymophane, DEI promptly severed all relations with Cymophane and signed on as a supporter of the Turn It Down campaign. The DEI move left Cymophane without a mainstream distributor for the much-hyped, soon-to-be-released tribute CD to the national socialist black metal band Burzum.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 2000



Chicago Commission On Human Relations Host Unity Walk -

CHICAGO COMMISSION ON HUMAN RELATIONS HOST UNITY WALK: The Chicago Commission on Human Relations – Youth Division hosted a 3 mile Youth Unity Walk on September 30, 2000. The walk drew over 300 participants and featured speakers and refreshments.

Source: Midwest Action Report, October 2000



Northwest Coalition For Human Dignity Hosts Conference -

NORTHWEST COALITION FOR HUMAN DIGNITY HOSTS CONFERENCE TO ‘BUILD OUR BASE’: The Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity hosted their 14th annual conference in Boise, Idaho. The theme of this year’s conference, which attracted over 250 attendees, was “Building our Base to Counter Hatred”. Center staff members conducted workshops on “Turn It Down: A Campaign Against White Power Music” and “Lone Wolves and White Warriors: Racist Terror in the Northwest”.

Source: Midwest Action Report, October 2000



Bloomington-Normal, Illinois Diversity Day Counters WCOTC -

BLOOMINGTON-NORMAL, ILLINOIS DIVERSITY DAY COUNTERS WCOTC: Civic and organizational leaders from throughout the communities of Bloomington and Normal, Illinois organized a highly successful Diversity Day October 28, 2000 to counter an appearance by World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) leader Matt Hate at the Bloomington Public Library. Over 440 area residents attended the community-wide event sponsored by twenty-two local agencies. Ethnic food and music, along with spirited fundraising to support cultural diversity highlighted the afternoon at the McLean County Museum of History in downtown Bloomington. In addition, over 100 showed up at the library to demonstrate against the WCOTC, while Hale’s support in the audience was fewer than 20. Six Hale supporters, including Chicago WCOTC activist John Schlismann, joined Hale at the front of the library meeting room for a half-hour speech. After the meeting, Hale made another room reservation for November 25, this time to talk about "Racial Loyalty or Racial Treason." (Pantagraph, October 13, 14, 2000).

Source: Midwest Action Report, October 2000



Quincy, Illinois Leaders Squelch Christian Identity Seminar -

QUINCY, ILLINOIS LEADERS SQUELCH CHRISTIAN IDENTITY SEMINAR: After being alerted by the Center for New Community, Quincy, Illinois leaders successfully squelched a Christian Identity seminar scheduled in their community for mid-October. At the invitation of Rev. Tim White, seventy area leaders gathered on September 27, 2000 to learn about Identity from Center for New Community staff, and to discuss proposals to counter the seminar proposed by North Carolina Christian Identity leader James Bruggeman. At the community gathering, owners of the Shepherd’s Inn were asked to cancel arrangements for the event, which they agreed to do. A task force was also formed at the meeting to discuss and develop long-term plans to address and counter Identity activity and other hate groups in the area.

Source: Midwest Action Report, October 2000



Interfaith Alliance Of Greater St. Louis Holds Events To Counter Hate Activity -

INTERFAITH ALLIANCE OF GREATER ST. LOUIS HOLDS EVENTS TO COUNTER HATE ACTIVITY: Interfaith Alliance leaders of the St. Louis area came together October 5, 2000 with Center for New Community Executive Director Rev. David Ostendorf to advance their work to counter hate groups. The metropolitan St. Louis area has seen a recent rise in white nationalist activity. Rev. Ed Heininger, President of the Board, and Board Member Bud DeRaps organized a clergy workshop and an evening public presentation, as well as a special meeting with youth and youth religious leaders to explore development of a new program, Youth Against Hate and Violence, to counter white power music and youth recruitment by hate groups.

Source: Midwest Action Report, October 2000



Turning Down The Sounds Of Hate Presentations -

TURNING DOWN THE SOUNDS OF HATE PRESENTATIONS: The Diversity Programming Group at Indiana University Northwest hosted the Center’s Turning Down the Sounds of Hate presentation. Following the first presentation to a group of about 60 students and faculty on September 14, 2000 the discussion became quite lively when a neo-Nazi Hammerskin in the audience exposed his identity by displaying his Iron Eagle and swastika tattoos. The second presentation was to a group of about 40 on September 22. The Diversity Programming Group at IU Northwest hosts speakers and events throughout the school year.

On September 16, the University Church near the University of Chicago’s Hyde Park campus hosted a Turn Down the Sounds of Hate presentation, which was attended by more than 40 people.

Source: Midwest Action Report, September 2000



Wisconsin Responds To Christian Identity Bible Camp -

WISCONSIN RESPONDS TO CHRISTIAN IDENTITY BIBLE CAMP: After being alerted by the Center for New Community, about 50 people from Waupaca and Fox Valley religious and civil rights groups gathered outside the Riverside Bible Camp in Portage, Wisconsin, to denounce a “bible camp” organized by Christian Identity leader Pete Peters. On September 1, 2000 the opening day of the event, groups including Towards Community: Unity in Diversity, and Trinity Lutheran Church helped stage a public condemnation of the ideas behind Christian Identity. Equipped with only handmade signs, a cooler of sandwiches and a message of unity and diversity, community members stood alongside the rural road the entire day. Speaking to both passersby and those entering the camp, the cheery ensemble made it very clear that the bigotry of Christian Identity was not welcome in Wisconsin.



Center Staff Speak At UCC National Youth Event -

CENTER STAFF SPEAK AT UCC NATIONAL YOUTH EVENT: The United Church of Christ hosted the largest Soundtracks to the White Revolution presentations to date at their National Youth Event in July 2000 in Ames, Iowa. Over 3,000 young people and their chaperones from across the United States attended the presentations.

Source: Midwest Action Report, June/July 2000



Center Releases Two Special Reports -


CENTER RELEASES TWO SPECIAL REPORTS: The Center for New Community has released two new reports in the past two months. On June 28, 2000 The World Church of the Creator: One Year Later was released. It details on an almost daily basis the activities of the WCOTC in the year since Benjamin Smith went on a racist shooting spree through Illinois and Indiana. The Center also released Party Crashers: White Nationalists and Election 2000, detailing the efforts of organized white nationalists to influence this November’s elections.

Source: Midwest Action Report, June/July 2000



Rolling Meadows Hosts Soundtracks Presentation -

ROLLING MEADOWS HOSTS SOUNDTRACKS PRESENTATION: On April 11,2000 Dean of Students, Dan Williams and the Multicultural Issues class at Rolling Meadows High School in Rolling Meadows, Illinois, hosted a Soundtracks to the White Revolution presentation. Approximately 25 students and faculty attended the workshop.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2000



Plea For Peace Tour Plans To Visit Chicago -

PLEA FOR PEACE TOUR PLANS TO VISIT CHICAGO: The Plea for Peace Tour, a nation-wide tour featuring anti-racist bands and information tables, will stop in Chicago on June 27, 2000. The tour will feature bands such as the Blue Meanies, Alkaline Trio, and Mike Park. Park, who also organized the 1998 Ska Against Racism tour, stated, “We want to reach out to young people. More than ever, it seems like we’re hitting a dead end! Everyday we hear of a new crisis with our youth. How can we continue to believe in our youth, if the youth can’t have something to believe in? Through music, we will put on tours, produce benefit CD’s, and distribute our magazine in the hope of planting the seeds change for a new generation of kids who aren’t afraid to express themselves and be pro-active in this world.”

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2000



Bureau County Hosts “Peace Day 2000” -

BUREAU COUNTY HOSTS “PEACE DAY 2000”: The Bureau County Sheriff’s office and Bureau Valley High School co-hosted Peace Day 2000, the second event of its kind, on April 12. Approximately 300 high school students attended workshops on the dangers of white power music, violence prevention, and sexual assault.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 2000



CNC at YLD Event -

CNC AT YLD EVENT: On January 5, 2000 Devin Burghart, Building Democracy Initiative director joined with Jay Tcath of the Jewish Community Relations Council, and US Representative Jan Schakowsky to address the Young Leadership Division of the Jewish United Fund of Metropolitan Chicago. Nearly 100 people were on hand for the panel discussion entitled, “Hate and Hope: Reflections on a Summer of Violent Hate Crimes.”

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2000



CNC Warns Of Hate Literature Distribution Plan -

CNC WARNS OF HATE LITERATURE DISTRIBUTION PLAN: The Center for New Community is alerting community activists, law enforcement personnel and media of a planned nationwide “Klassen Blitz Day” by the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC). Hale has announced that February 20, 2000 will be a “national distribution day” for copies of the now famous Facts that the Government and the Media Don’t Want You to Know. WCOTC activists have been encouraged to distribute the literature during the night of February 19th, to celebrate the birthday of Ben Klassen, the WCOTC’s founder, which was February 20th. (The Struggle, issue 55).

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2000



“Partners For Peace” Forms In Farmington, Illinois -

“PARTNERS FOR PEACE” FORMS IN FARMINGTON, ILLINOIS: In response to recent recruitment efforts by the American Knights of the KKK, the Farmington Council of Churches has formed Partners for Peace, an organization consisting of community residents, city representatives, and local businesses. Illinois American Knights leader Chuck Miller has promised, “If they have one march or rally in Farmington, we’ll have five.” Ku Klux Klan flyers were placed on car windshields during Partners for Peace’s first meeting. (Journal-Star, January 10, 2000).

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2000



Chicago Metro United Church Of Christ Leaders Attend Training -

CHICAGO METRO UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST LEADERS ATTEND TRAINING: The Church in Society Commission of the Chicago Metropolitan Association of the United Church of Christ (UCC) organized a training —“People of Faith Responding to People of Hate”—attended by 27 lay leaders and pastors on January 22, 2000. Staffed by the Center for New Community, the training covered the State of Hate, Youth Recruitment through White Power Music, and Organizing Effective Community Responses.

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 2000



Cincinnati Rebuffs Klan Cross In City Square -

CINCINNATI REBUFFS KLAN CROSS IN CITY SQUARE: Unlike previous years, the Ku Klux Klan will not have a cross on display in Cincinnati in 1999. Local church groups put up a cross and exhibit near Santa's workshop on Fountain Square where a KKK cross had been last year. Since 1992, the Klan has erected a cross in Fountain Square during the holidays, sparking controversy and protest. When Klan members inquired about city permits for their annual cross on November 29, they were told that churches and Downtown Cincinnati Inc. had snatched up the last ones.



Elkhart, Indiana Leaders Launch Community Forums In Response To Murder By White Supremacists -

ELKHART, INDIANA LEADERS LAUNCH COMMUNITY FORUMS IN RESPONSE TO MURDER BY WHITE SUPREMACISTS: Vaughn Moreno and other leaders from the Elkhart, Indiana Human Relations Commission, city council, the mayor's office, schools, and community organizations have launched a series of community forums in response to the November shooting of a young African-American by two white youth. The first forum, held December 13, drew some 100 parents, students, religious, civic, and community leaders. High school students and staff spoke about the impact of the shootings, and Center for New Community staff made a presentation on white power music and its influence on youth. Vigils and other community responses to the shooting have also begun to galvanize the Indiana city as it comes to terms with the tragedy.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November/December 1999



400 Students Participate In Chicago Conference On "The Culture Of Hate: A Youth Perspective" -

FOUR HUNDRED HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATE IN CHICAGO CONFERENCE ON "THE CULTURE OF HATE: A YOUTH PERSPECTIVE": The Chicago Human Relations Commission, the Human Relations Foundation of Chicago, and the Center for New Community cosponsored a conference for high school youth December 2 that drew 400 students from city and suburban high schools. Focusing on hate crimes, hate on the internet, and on white supremacist music, the conference particularly aimed at equipping students to identify the seeds of hate within their own schools and communities, and among peer groups.

The Center released its new report, Soundtracks to the White Revolution, at the Conference, and provided a copy to every participant. Those attending the conference were asked to go back to their schools and communities and take action on what they had learned, and to report back
to the sponsoring organizations on their work. The conference and the Center's white power music report were featured on a special National Public Radio report that aired December 17.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November/December 1999



Oak Park, Illinois Responds To Church Arson Threat -

OAK PARK, ILLINOIS RESPONDS TO CHURCH ARSON THREAT: The Metropolitan Community Church of the Incarnation (MCCI), a predominantly gay and lesbian congregation, was the target of arson threats sent by electronic mail October 24 and 26. The congregation has worshipped for five years in the chapel of the Pilgrim Congregational Church, United Church of Christ. The messages were traced to the neighboring Oak Park River Forest High School, which, in cooperation with local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies, took immediate action to identify the person responsible. On the Sunday following public disclosure of the threats, over 200 people from area churches and synagogues, along with community leaders, joined the MCCI congregation in a show of support and solidarity at the conclusion of their worship service. A second rally and march in support of the church was held in November, with some 250 participants.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November/December 1999



Chicago Area Religious Leaders Attend Workshop On "The Use And Abuse Of Christianity By Hate Groups" -

SIXTY CHICAGO AREA RELIGIOUS LEADERS ATTEND WORKSHOP ON "THE USE AND ABUSE OF CHRISTIANITY BY HATE GROUPS": A November 9 workshop organized by the Chicago Chapter of the American Jewish Committee, and co-sponsored by the American Jewish Committee, the Center for New Community, and seven Chicago area Christian judicatories drew 60 religious leaders to learn how white supremacist groups use and abuse Christianity to advance their racist and anti-Semitic ideologies. Workshop presenters included Bishop Joseph Sprague of the Northern Illinois Conference of the United Methodist Church, Kathleen Blee, Professor of Sociology at the University of Pittsburgh, and Devin Burghart and David Ostendorf of the Center. Midwest Regional Director Jonathan Levine of the American Jewish Committee moderated the workshop, which was divided into sessions on recognizing hate ideologies, and on responding to hate groups.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November/December 1999



2000 Building Democracy Conference To Be Held March 10-11 In Chicago -

2000 BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE TO BE HELD MARCH 10-11 IN CHICAGO: Continuing the Journey Against Hate will be the theme of the Center for New Community's 2000 Building Democracy Conference, to be held in Chicago March 10 - 11. The Conference will feature 25 workshops, a multimedia presentation on the Campaign Against White Power Music, an international panel with representatives from European and Canadian organizations countering far-right activities, and leaders from communities that have recently played key roles in countering white supremacist activities.

Floyd Cochran, the former Aryan Nation leader who renounced racism and left the movement in 1992, will be the keynote speaker at Friday evening's banquet. Registration for the Conference is $85 if received by February 29. Visit our website or call the Center for brochures and more information.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November/December 1999



President Clinton Endorses Bill To Expand Federal Hate Crimes Laws -

PRESIDENT CLINTON ENDORSES BILL TO EXPAND FEDERAL HATE CRIMES LAWS: President Bill Clinton has given a verbal endorsement to a federal bill expanding federal hate crimes laws to include sexual orientation. The bill was introduced with bi-partisan support from Senators Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Arlene Spector (R-Penn.). Clinton has also directed the Departments of Justice and Education to require college campuses to provide hate crime information in the campus crime statistics provided to law enforcement each year (Associated Press, April 7, 1999).

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 1999



Center For New Community Participates In Bureau County High School Peace Day -

CENTER FOR NEW COMMUNITY PARTICIPATES IN BUREAU COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL PEACE DAY: On May 6, 1999 Building Democracy Initiative director Devin Burghart addressed the students of Bureau County High School, as part of the school’s first annual “Peace Day.” The presentation on hate group activity focused on youth issues, including white supremacist infiltration into youth subcultures. Coming on the heels of the killings at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, the event gave inquisitive students an opportunity to reflect on the situation and to explore how and why white supremacists recruit young people.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 1999



Exposing The Christian Identity Super Conference -

EXPOSING THE CHRISTIAN IDENTITY SUPER CONFERENCE: In previous years, Everett Siliven Ramsey and his Faith Baptist Church/ America Today Publishers/ Saxon University quietly drew as many as 600 Christian Identity adherents to Missouri for his annual Christian Identity “Super Conference.” Their seventh annual conference was scheduled for May 14-16, 1999 in Springfield, Missouri. For Ramsey and his Identity flock, seven turned out to be a very unlucky number.

When Ramsey announced that he was holding his Super Conference in Springfield, the Center for New Community quickly responded by informing religious leaders in that area. "We could not be silent," said Center for New Community Director Dave Ostendorf. "Everett Siliven Ramsey parades as a Christian, but he is a racist and an anti-Semite."



Mainstream Education Foundation To Hold “Putting Hate Behind Us!” Forum - MAINSTREAM EDUCATION FOUNDATION TO HOLD “PUTTING HATE BEHIND US!” FORUM: The Mainstream Education Foundation of Kansas will hold a special forum entitled “Putting the Hate Behind Us!” on Thursday, June 3, 1999. Event co-sponsors include the Center for New Community, the nine member church communions of Kansas Ecumenical Ministries, Concerned Citizens for Topeka, Kansas Interfaith/Impact, Jewish Community Relations Bureau/ American Jewish Committee, Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, Kansas East Conference United Methodist Church – Social Issues Committee. The evening’s special guest speaker will be Jerry Mitchell – an investigative journalist for Jackson, Mississippi’s The Clarion-Ledger. His dogged determination to uncover the truth led to the reopening of cases against Sam Bowers (the Imperial Knights of the KKK) and Byron De La Beckwith (murderer of civil rights leader, Medgar Evers). For more information, contact Mainstream at (913) 649-3326.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1999

Coalition For Human Dignity Releases “Between Hitler And Satan” Background Report -

IN THE WAKE OF THE COLUMBINE KILLINGS, COALITION FOR HUMAN DIGNITY RELEASES “BETWEEN HITLER AND SATAN” BACKGROUND REPORT: As the country grapples with what appears as yet another senseless killing in an American high school, we must not turn our eyes from the evidence that race hatred and an admiration of Adolph Hitler played a role in these vicious murders. In recent years, neo-Nazi music bands hoping to promote race hatred, vicious anti-Semitism and bigoted violence and murder, have attempted to infiltrate and influence the "extreme music" subculture to which Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold are reported to have belonged. The Coalition for Human Dignity’s latest backgrounder explores these connections. To receive a copy of the report, contact the Coalition for Human Dignity at (360)756-0914 or by email at [email protected].

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1999



Searchlight Special Issue On The United States - SEARCHLIGHT SPECIAL ISSUE ON THE UNITED STATES: What does movie star Charlton Heston have in common with the Christian Coalition's Rev. Pat Robertson, former Washington Times columnist Sam Francis, presidential aspirant Pat Buchanan and the Church of the Creator's Matt Hale? They are all covered in a special Searchlight magazine entitled, "From Compounds to Congress: White Nationalism in the USA." Also articles on Christian common law, attacks on the Fourteenth Amendment and an interview with the founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement, This edition is available for a limited time for the special introductory price of only US$4.00 from the address below.

Searchlight magazine has been published monthly since 1975 from London, England. Its investigations have uncovered far right machinations from a 1981 plot to bomb the famous Notting Hill carnival to a 1999 expose of neo-Nazis in the British army. Correspondents on the continent covered the split between Le Pen and Megret in the French National Front and the creation of hardcore neo-Nazi infrastructures in Germany. If you need the facts on the far right in Europe and North America, read the world's only international anti-fascist monthly. For a regular 12-month subscription send US$75.00 payable to IREHR. Mail to IREHR, POBox 411552, Kansas City, Missouri 64141.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1999


Michigan Passes Anti-Lien Law To Curb Far-Right Common Law Activity -

MICHIGAN PASSES ANTI-LIEN LAW TO CURB FAR-RIGHT COMMON LAW ACTIVITY: The Michigan Ecumenical Forum, the Anti-Defamation League, the State Bar, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association, and the Michigan Court Administrators Association joined forces to support and pass an anti-lien law in the state this fall. The Governor signed public Act 360 into law on October 20, 1998. The law makes criminal key tactics of the common law court movement, including impersonation of a public officer or employee, intimidation of a public official, and simulating the legal process. At the invitation of the House Judiciary Committee, Center for New Community staff met with legislators in October of 1997 to discuss common law court activity in the state and to underscore the need for public policy to curb that activity. According to the Rev. Stephen Johns-Boehme, Executive Director of the Michigan Ecumenical Forum, “The new law says to those involved in the paper terrorism of the common law court movement that their pseudo-judicial “decisions” and vigilante justice will not be tolerated in Michigan.”

Source: Midwest Action Report, September / October 1998



Schuylkill Empowerment Project Responds To Klan Rally -

SCHUYLKILL EMPOWERMENT PROJECT RESPONDS TO KLAN RALLY: When the Klan came to Pottsville, Pennsylvania September 26, 1998 the Schuylkill Empowerment Project (SEP) helped organize religious community response, in conjunction with Pottsville churches and a newly-formed Unity Coalition. The project, affiliated with the Commission on Religion in Appalachia and developed in association with the Center for New Community’s faith-based organizing initiatives, got the word about the Klan rally out to all the churches in the county within a day of the announcement of the rally, and helped turn out participants to an 8:00 a.m. prayer service, and to numerous other events throughout the county.

Source: Midwest Action Report, September / October 1998



Madison City Council Declares KKK Unwelcome - MADISON CITY COUNCIL DECLARES KKK UNWELCOME: In response to the Ku Klux Klan’s threat to come to Madison, Wisconsin "before the snow flies," the self-described "City of Tolerance" has decided to say no to intolerance. On July 21, the Madison City Council unanimously approved a resolution to condemn the presence of the Ku Klux Klan and any other group that "engages in bigotry and advocates violence." According to the resolution, the council also supports constructive efforts to rid the community of such organizations. The resolution follows a move on July 7 to declare Madison a "City of Tolerance" in protest to billboards erected in Madison attacking homosexuality. Madison has been preparing for the Klan all summer. A group of local congregations and thousands of individuals have signed petitions denouncing the Klan (Wisconsin State Journal, July 22, 1998).

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1998

1998 Building Democracy Conference Taking Shape -

1998 BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE TAKING SHAPE; CO-SPONSORS AND CONTRIBUTING PARTNERS COMING ON BOARD: The 1998 Building Democracy Conference will kick off November 13 with findings from a new Center for New Community report on the "State of Hate" in the Midwest. MacArthur Foundation Fellow Leonard Zeskind will put the report in context with a major presentation on "White Nationalism Against the New World Order," a theme from his forthcoming book. Following Friday’s seminars, Dr. Cornel West will speak on "Building Democratic Community in the Face of the White Supremacist Movement."

Conference co-sponsors and contributing partners are coming on board. As a co-sponsor, the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries (United Church of Christ) is a major underwriter of the Conference. To date, contributing partners to the Conference include The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA; the Commission for Racial Justice, United Church of Christ; The American Jewish Committee; The General Board of Global Ministries, United Methodist Church; and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The Center is deeply grateful for the generous support of these Conference partners. New partners will be announced next month.

Registration deadline for the Conference is October 31; a $20 late fee will be added after that date. Midwest Action Report readers are reminded that there will be no day of Conference registration; we urge you to get your registration in early to assure your space and avoid the late fee.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1998



1998 Building Democracy Conference Registration Underway -

1998 BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE REGISTRATION UNDERWAY: In its lasting commitment to build democratic community in the Midwest, the Center for New Community’s Building Democracy Initiative seeks to enable and organize communities throughout the region to respond creatively and effectively to organized racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, and other forms of bigotry and anti-democratic activity. As part of this ongoing commitment, the Center for New Community is pleased to convene the 1998 Building Democracy Conference, November 13-14, in Chicago, Illinois.

The 1998 Building Democracy Conference will provide the tools essential to building strong, community-based, democratic responses to this danger in our midst. It is open to leaders and activists who are committed to strengthening - or joining - this work. The Conference will provide both topical seminars and skills workshops to enhance our capacity to respond to the far-right. Sessions will be led by nationally-known experts, staff and community leaders from around the country. This years keynote speaker will be Cornel West, professor of Afro-American Studies and Philosophy of Religion at Harvard. Space for conference is limited so register early. Registration brochures are available by contacting the Center for New Community.

Source: Midwest Action Report, July 1998



Illinois and Michigan Churches Respond To Appearance Of Militia Of Montana Leader -

ILLINOIS AND MICHIGAN CHURCHES RESPOND TO APPEARANCE OF MILITIA OF MONTANA LEADER: Thanks to the cooperative effort of the Illinois Conference of Churches, pastors in Rock Falls and Quincy, the Marion Ministerial Alliance, and the Center for New Community, Militia of Montana leader John Trochmann was given a cool reception by church leaders when he spoke in those Illinois communities in June.

Rev. David Kell of the Rock Falls United Methodist Church led opposition to Trochmann, and was outspoken in his criticism of the militia movement. Kell told the Daily Gazette, "We want to alert people to this kind of thing. It needs to be confronted and not ignored. It is an illness sweeping the country."



Stopping Newspaper Knight Riding -

STOPPING NEWSPAPER KNIGHT RIDING: In the past year, white supremacist groups have increasingly used local free newspapers to spread their message by wrapping racist literature around papers and tossing them on people’s lawns in the middle of the night. Newspaper publishers have begun formulating responses to this unwanted use. Jim Ewart, an attorney for the California Newspaper Publishers Association, noted that the tactic of wrapping racist literature around paid publications runs afoul of the law in that it tampers with a product for sale and that free newspaper publishers might be able to seek civil remedies for economic damage. Others have suggested that publishers file "theft of services" charges against the Klan because it uses the papers to deliver advertisements although it has not paid for those ad insertions.

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 1998



Waukegan Rallies For Unity -

WAUKEGAN RALLIES FOR UNITY: Even though the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan cancelled their planned rally in Waukegan, Illinois two weeks ahead of time due to "illness," more than 1,500 people gathered on May 2, 1998 to say no to hate. The first "Unity in the Community" rally, held at Waukegan High School’s Weiss Field stadium was organized by the more than 50 churches in the North Shore Pastors Conference. The group decided to go ahead with the Unity rally because they felt the gathering was still important. Rev. Harry Stackhouse, pastor of Sign of the Dove Church in Waukegan explained, "We realized that this is something we should have been doing for the last 100 years." The Center for New Community provided background information, including its report, "The Resurgent Ku Klux Klan in Illinois," to organizers of the event (Chicago Tribune, May 5, 1998).

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 1998



Ann Arbor Counters The Klan -

ANN ARBOR COUNTERS THE KLAN: When the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan came to Ann Arbor this year, the residents of Ann Arbor were more prepared than during the Klan’s 1996 visit. Last October, residents participated in training sessions on responding to white supremacist activity conducted by the Center for New Community. This spring, over 100 people also trained in non-violence with the local representatives of the Michigan Peace Team.

During the May 9, 1998 Klan rally, hundreds of demonstrators clashed with police and peace team members outside of the Larcom Municipal Building. When the Klan began their rally, blaring racist music over the loudspeaker, demonstrators charged a fence to get at the two dozen caged-in Klan members. Police let loose with pepper spray when the demonstrators nearly succeeded in pulling the fence down. Towards the conclusion of the rally, protestors were able to break down a fence at the back of the building. They threw rocks at the building, breaking several windows, before being run off by police with tear gas. Meanwhile, several blocks away at a local park, more than 500 people celebrated at the four-hour-long "Rally for CommUNITY and Justice."

Source: Midwest Action Report, May 1998



Students Denounce Neo-Nazi In Republican Party -

STUDENTS DENOUNCE NEO-NAZI IN REPUBLICAN PARTY: On Friday, April 17, 1998 students representing a variety of progressive organizations at Washington University in St. Louis held a successful press conference urging the removal of neo-Nazi Dennis Nix from his office as Republican Committeeman in Johnson County, Missouri. Students made the request to John "Woody" Cozad, the state chairman of the Missouri Republican Party because of Nix's neo-Nazi ties, including his founding of the National Socialist White People's Party. Students Denounced Nix's extreme views and activities, including denial of the Holocaust and his role as illustrator of the first edition of The Turner Diaries, the inspiration for the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. Research about Nix was provided by the Missouri Citizen Education Fund. The press conference was organized as part of the national Reclaim the Date campaign.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1998



Madison Prepares For The Klan -

MADISON PREPARES FOR THE KLAN: Madison-area congregations have decided not to wait until the Klan comes to town to have their voices heard. A diverse group of more than 70 congregations and synagogues placed full-page ads in the Wisconsin State Journal and the Madison Times proclaiming their opposition to the Klan, and hundreds of individuals have signed a pledge saying their religious principles require condemnation of the Klan’s racism. After a Klan rally in Beloit last December, religious leaders began discussions on community response. Charles Pfeifer of Madison Urban Ministries, one of the organizers of the response stated, "This is more serious than a political game. It’s a debate about how our community will evolve, what kind of community we are and what kind of welcome we will extend. Local churches and synagogues hold a community celebration of racial togetherness entitled "All in the Image of God" on April 26, 1998 at the Dane County Exhibition Hall in Madison.

On April 20, Governor Tommy Thompson instructed his Department of Administration to deny Klan permits to demonstrate at the Capitol or other state government offices. In a statement the governor noted, "It is clear that the Klan’s intention is not to engage in protected free speech in advocacy of political ideas but to incite imminent lawless action." The statement pointed to the Beloit rally, recalling that Klan members taunted the crowd in an effort to promote a disturbance (Wisconsin State Journal, April 9, 21, 1998).

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1998



CNC Shuts Down Neo-Nazis In Minneapolis -

CNC SHUTS DOWN NEO-NAZIS IN MINNEAPOLIS: Thanks to Center for New Community research provided to Twin Cities media outlets, the National Socialist Movement’s (NSM) April 18-19, 1998 "National White Unity Gathering" fizzled. When reporters questioned the manager of the motel where the group planned to hold its secretive meeting, the manager cancelled the NSM reservations. NSM leaders misrepresented themselves, registering for the room as the "Norwegian Sorel Club." Unable to find a new location on short notice, NSM leaders cancelled the event. Down from the 150 expected participants, only 15 neo-Nazis showed up for an April 19 press conference at the federal building in St. Paul. Minnesota's "Compact Against Hate" coalition also held a press conference on April 16 to denounce the neo-Nazi gathering.

Source: Midwest Action Report, April 1998



Kansas Legislature Passes Anti-Lien Law -

KANSAS LEGISLATURE PASSES ANTI-LIEN LAW: The Kansas legislature passed legislation that would establish an expedited process for releasing bogus liens filed against real or personal property. Senate Bill 408, was passed by the Kansas house 123-0 and awaits the governors signature. The governor is expected to sign the bill into law. The legislature did not, however, revive a criminal syndicalism statute or strengthen statutes that prohibit private militias.

The bill provides that if any person has reason to believe that any document or instrument purporting to create a lien against their property is fraudulent, they can file a motion with the district court for judicial review of the lien. It creates a procedure for expediting release of the lien by allowing a judge to review the alleged lien without conducting a hearing or receiving evidence and to issue a ruling on the authenticity of the lien without notice. After review, the district court is required to make an appropriate finding of fact, with conclusions of law, and file it with the appropriate records office in the county where the property is located.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1998



National "Reclaim the Date" Campaign Launched -

NATIONAL "RECLAIM THE DATE" CAMPAIGN LAUNCHED: April 19 has become synonymous with racist terror in America, and is the anniversary of the deadly bombing in Oklahoma City, which claimed the lives of 168 men, women, and children in 1995. It is also a date claimed by the organized hate movement. This year, however, communities across the nation will "reclaim" April 19 as a day of observance and recommitment to democracy. The "Reclaim the Date" campaign, to be held annually, seeks to join religious and civic communities around the country in building democratic community and speaking out against racist violence.

Along with the Center for New Community, groups sponsoring in the campaign include the Center for Democratic Renewal (Atlanta), the Coalition for Human Dignity (Seattle), the Education and Vigilance Network (Pennsylvania), Mountain States Network Against Bigotry (Denver), the Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment (Seattle), and the Southern Institute for Research and Education (New Orleans).

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1998



Churches Respond to Proposed Cicero Klan Rally -

CHURCHES RESPOND TO PROPOSED CICERO KLAN RALLY: The Interfaith Leadership Project (ILP), representing churches throughout the suburban working class communities of Cicero, Berwyn, and Stickney, Illinois led a highly successful response in February and March to a proposed rally by the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. While the Cicero town board twice turned down a request for a rally permit by the Wisconsin Realm of the American Knights, the courts overruled their decision. In a bizarre twist of events, the town Board President offered to raise $10,000 to distribute Klan literature throughout Cicero if the Klan agreed to cancel the rally. Pressure by the ILP was put on community leaders to rescind the hate literature distribution offer. The day before the scheduled rally, the literature distribution plan was scuttled, and the Klan cancelled its appearance. At a worship service, religious and community leaders celebrated their success and signed petitions for a continuing effort to counter racism. The Center for New Community provided information and technical support to the groups.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1998



Central Illinois Residents Come Together to Counter Hate -

CENTRAL ILLINOIS RESIDENTS COME TOGETHER TO COUNTER HATE: On February 7, 1998 more than fifty residents of Champaign and surrounding areas gathered to participate in a day-long education and training session conducted by Center for New Community staffer Devin Burghart. The event, sponsored by the Central Illinois District of the United Methodist Church was entitled "Building Bridges in the Face of Hate." The diverse group of community and religious leaders examined the contours of the contemporary white supremacist movement, explored what to do when hate groups come to town, and addressed community concerns about current activity in the area – including neo-Nazi literature distribution and a Ku Klux Klan rally scheduled for this spring.

Source: Midwest Action Report, February 1998



Kansas Community Education and Response Teams Gather -

KANSAS COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND RESPONSE TEAMS GATHER: Members of the Kansas Community Education and Response Teams gathered for an education and planning session on January 20, 1998. The session, facilitated by CNC staffer Devin Burghart, explored the current situation with the far-right in Kansas and began strategic planning for this year’s Community Education and Response Team actions. Among the items discussed at the planning session: an April 19 observance, and a statewide presentation tour in the fall. The next Community Education and Response Team meeting will be March 16. Contact the Center for more information.

Source: Midwest Action Report, January 1998



Dale Fooshee Presented 1997 Building Democracy Award - DALE FOOSHEE PRESENTED BUILDING DEMOCRACY AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING LEADERSHIP: Dale Fooshee, Conference Council Director for the Kansas East Conference of the United Methodist Church, was presented the Center for New Community’s first Building Democracy Award for outstanding leadership in countering the far-right in the Midwest. The Award was presented at the December Conference. Since the mid- 1980s, Dale has been a key regional and national church leader in the movement to counter organized hate group activity. He has been instrumental in organizing numerous education and training events for religious leaders, including a 5-day, 5-city training in Kansas in the fall of 1995. In 1997, he organized and recruited participants for the Center’s Community Education and Response Teams in Kansas. Center Board Member Daniel Levitas says of Fooshee: "Dale has been at the forefront of the struggle for democracy and social justice where it counts—in the fields, at the grassroots, and with the people." The Center is honored to present the Building Democracy Award to Dale.

Particpants from 16 States Attend Building Democracy Conference -

PARTICIPANTS FROM 16 STATES ATTEND BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE: Sixty leaders from sixteen states participated in the Center for New Community’s 1997 Building Democracy Conference, held December 5 and 6 in Chicago. They attended 16 topical and skills workshops covering a range of topics on the white supremacist movement, including the rise of citizen militias; neo-Nazis and racist skinheads; Christian Identity theology; the common law court movement; the resurgent Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest; and cyberhate. Organizing, research, media skills, and development of education presentations on the far-right highlighted the Saturday skills workshops.

According to Devin Burghart, Director of the Center’s Building Democracy Initiative, "The Conference was a high-energy event. We are grateful to all the leaders and participants for their many contributions to the dialogue and shared learning, and we look forward to our ongoing work with everyone present to build a democratic movement committed to building solid moral barriers against organized hate group activity."



Save the Date for 1998 Building Democracy Conference - SAVE THE DATE FOR 1998 BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE: The Center for New Community is pleased to announce the dates of the 1998 Building Democracy Conference. The conference will be held November 13-14 in Chicago, Illinois. Stay tuned to the Midwest Action Report or contact the Center for New Community for more information.

Bells Toll for Justice -

BELLS TOLL FOR JUSTICE: The Center for New Community joins the Mountain States Network Against Bigotry (MSNAB) and others around the nation in asking churches to ring their bells on Wednesday, December 17, 1997 at noon mountain time, as a show of unity and a sign of hope in the wake of the deaths of two men at the hands of racist skinheads in Denver, Colorado. Oumar Dia and Bruce Vander Jagt were murdered and woman who tried to intervene in support of one of the victims was paralyzed. For more information, contact the Center office, or the MSNAB at (303)839-5953.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 1997



Building Democracy Conference - December 5 & 6, 1997 -

BUILDING DEMOCRACY CONFERENCE – DECEMBER 5 & 6, 1997: The Center for New Community will convene the 1997 Building Democracy Conference: Countering the Far-Right in the Midwest, in Chicago on December 5 & 6. The conference will include education and skills workshops conducted by regional and national experts. For a conference brochure or more information, contact the Center for New Community office. Make sure to get your registration in right away. The final deadline for conference registration is December 1.

Source: Midwest Action Report, November 1997



Ironwood, MI Rebuffs the Klan -

IRONWOOD, MICHIGAN REBUFFS THE KLAN: The Upper Peninsula community of Ironwood, Michigan came together to resoundingly denounce the message of the Ku Klux Klan when it chose to meet there on September 13.

While some chose to face the Klan directly, separated by two chain link fences and a contingent of police in riot gear, others gathered at a church prayer service and a "Love and Unity" picnic at a park six blocks away. The prayer vigil was attended by over 250 people, including representatives from 12 different congregations and the Rabbi from a neighboring community. Around the town, lamp posts and parking meters were festooned with orange ribbons, symbolizing tolerance. Leaflets were also circulated through the community depicting an orange ribbon on one side, along with the words: "All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing" on the other.

The Klan rally was sponsored by Mercer, WI resident Michael Novak, the local contact for the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and Grand Dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, Realm of Wisconsin, Michael McQueeney, also of Mercer.



Community Education and Response Team Organizes Response to Cross Burning in Rushville, MO -

COMMUNITY EDUCATION & RESPONSE TEAM MEMBERS HELP ORGANIZE RESPONSE TO CROSS BURNING IN RUSHVILLE, MO: "Light a candle not a cross" was the message that brought between 300 and 400 people together on September 8 in Atchison, Kansas. The event brought together people from throughout the area to show their opposition to a cross burning that occurred in neighboring Rushville, MO. The Atchison Ministerial Alliance sponsored the candlelight vigil. Members from more than 40 local churches were in attendance.

Kansas Community Education and Response Team member Christine Iverson was one of the key individuals organizing a response to the cross burning. She also provided victim support for the family singled out because of the color of their skin.



Community Education and Response Teams Developed in Kansas -

COMMUNITY EDUCATION AND RESPONSE TEAMS DEVELOPED IN KANSAS: Fourteen Kansas leaders attended the mid-July training for Community Education and Response Teams being organized cooperatively by Kansas Ecumenical Ministries and the Center for New Community. Two Michigan leaders also attended the event held in Hesston, to assess the possibility for organizing Teams in that state. The Teams are being equipped to provide community education and training on far-right groups and activities in the state, and to assist communities facing such activity. The Kansas Teams developed plans for numerous education and outreach events this fall and winter, and discussed specific plans for assessing and assisting communities facing immediate challenges from far-right groups.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1997



Religious Community Responds to Promise Keepers in the Midwest -

RELIGIOUS COMMUNITY RESPONDS TO PROMISE KEEPERS IN THE MIDWEST: Citing problems with Promise Keepers’ position on a variety of issues, a growing number of religious community leaders and other groups throughout the Midwest have expressed public opposition to the Christian Men’s Movement this summer. In Chicago, Kansas City, St. Louis, and Minneapolis/St. Paul, increasingly vocal opposition has been organized to the movement’s stance on issues related to women, gays, race and Christian nationalism. Attendance at Promise Keepers’ stadium events has been down significantly across the nation this year, even as the group prepares for a "million man" march on October 4. The movement has strong leadership and financial ties to key Christian Right organizations, a fact which opponents have increasingly brought to light.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1997



Wisconsin Churches Hold Training on Far-Right -

WISCONSIN CHURCHES HOLD TRAINING ON FAR-RIGHT: A May workshop on the theological underpinnings of the far-right, held in Appleton, Wisconsin, drew 35 church leaders from across the state. Sponsored by the Wisconsin Conference of the United Church of Christ, in cooperation with the Wisconsin Conference of Churches, the event focused on responses by the religious community to white supremacist and other far-right activity. Like other states in the region, Wisconsin has dealt with a variety of contemporary extremist groups with deep roots in Christian Identity. Center for New Community staff provided leadership for the training.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1997



Travese City, Michigan, Counters Neo-Nazi Nordicfest -

TRAVERSE CITY, MICHIGAN, COUNTERS NEO-NAZI NORDICFEST: Northern Michigan communities were stunned this spring by the announcement that a Neo-Nazi/skinhead rock festival would be held in Grand Traverse County over the July 4th weekend. Residents of Traverse City organized a series of public education responses to acquaint citizens with the racist groups sponsoring the NordicFest. Under an umbrella group, "Hate Free TC," they also mobilized community response to the hate groups. The Traverse City Eagle came out in solid opposition to the NordicFest, and ran numerous front-page stories about counter measures organized by the community. Jewish and Christian congregations joined forces to bring Center for New Community staff in for several days of education and training on the far-right, and on organizing for the long-haul to counter racism and hatred.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1997



Muskegon County, Michigan, Responds to Militia, Racism -

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICHIGAN, RESPONDS TO MILITIA, RACISM: Religious leaders in Muskegon County, Michigan, with the support of the Michigan Ecumenical Forum, began laying the groundwork last winter for a two-day education and training event aimed at countering far-right and racist activity in their communities. The event, held in early May, was staffed by the Center for New Community. Some 150 people representing the religious community, social service organizations, law enforcement, and area schools attended presentations related to the event. Area militia members also were present, and attempted to present themselves as a concerned citizen’s organization.

Source: Midwest Action Report, August 1997



Montana Association Of Churches Issues "Declaration On Distortions Of The Christian Gospel" -

Montana Association Of Churches Issues "Declaration On Distortions Of The Christian Gospel:" The Montana Association of Churches has continued its leadership in countering the far-right with a strong "Declaration on Distortions of the Christian Gospel," aimed at reclaiming the Biblical and theological imperatives for inclusiveness and diversity. The Declaration repudiates the white supremacist teachings of Christian Identity, as well as the far-right groups grounded in those teachings. It affirms racial diversity as a gift of God, repudiates "as false all dehumanizing teachings of hatred and dominion that pit one sector of humanity against another," as well as "the teaching that joins church and state in an unholy alliance which tyrannizes people of diverse backgrounds." Copies of the Declaration can be obtained from the Association at 100 - 24th St. West, Suite G, Billings, MT, 59102.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1997



Kansas Area United Methodist Church Completes Video And Curriculum On Christian Identity -

Kansas Area United Methodist Church Completes Video And Curriculum On Christian Identity: "Trouble in Our Community: The Truth About the ‘Christian Identity’ Movement," is an important, new curriculum developed and produced by the Kansas Area United Methodist Church, in cooperation with the Kansas Ecumenical Ministries Rural Concerns Committee. The curriculum has been designed especially for use by congregations, and seeks to equip them to address and counter religion-based hatred. The four-part study, a study guide, a video, and supplemental reading material is available for $10, payable to the Kansas East Conference, United Methodist Church, PO Box 4187, Topeka, KS, 66604.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1997



Community Education And Response Teams Pilot Project Slated For Kansas -

Community Education And Response Teams Pilot Project Slated For Kansas: In association with Kansas leaders who participated in the 1996 Regional Meeting, the Center for New Community will begin training Community Education and Response Teams this summer. The Teams will be equipped to engage in community education and training on far-right movements and activities, and to work with local religious and civic groups to develop strategies to counter the far-right. Other regional leaders who have expressed interest in developing Teams in their own states will also participate in the initial Team training event For more information, call the Center for New Community.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1997



Thirty-Eight Leaders From Nine States Attend Second Regional Strategy And Action Meeting - Thirty-Eight Leaders From Nine States Attend Second Regional Strategy And Action Meeting: The 1996 Regional Strategy and Action Meeting, convened by the Center for New Community, added to the growing foundation of leaders and organizations committed to countering far-right activity in the Midwest. Sixty-five religious and labor leaders have participated in one or both of the Regional Meetings begun by the Center in 1995.

Discussion groups on the militia and common law court movements; the resurgent Klan in the Midwest; religious foundations of the contemporary far-right; and research, information and public education tackled a wide range of challenges currently being confronted by communities across the region. Working groups the second day of the Meeting developed strategies for addressing these and other concerns. Leonard Zeskind, a nationally-known researcher on the far-right and author of a forthcoming book on the subject, provided keen insights on the contemporary white nationalist movements.

Source: Midwest Action Report, March 1997




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Monday, 06 February 2006 Home
Backlash: Anti-Immigrant Groups Threaten Gains In Rights
Wednesday, 26 October 2005

2005 marks the 40th anniversary of the landmark Immigration Act of 1965, a cornerstone of Civil Rights legislation, along with the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Reflecting the spirit of the times, the Act was crafted as a corrective to the nation’s history of racism and discrimination in immigration. It removed barriers based on national origin, and measures favoring immigrants from Western European countries. It also opened the door to more diverse patterns of immigration.
 
Forty years later, those changes and the Civil Rights tradition are under attack. Anti-immigrant sentiment is sweeping the country like wildfire. Stoked by political successes in Arizona and Washington, D.C. and fanned by national and grassroots anti-immigrant groups, nativism has moved from the margins to the mainstream.

Read more...
NWCHD Archive Launched
Sunday, 23 October 2005

The Building Democracy Initiative is pleased to announce the launch of the Northwest Coalition for Human Dignity / Coalition for Human Dignity / Northwest Coalition Against Malicious Harassment Publications Archive.

We begin with the 1994 book, The Northwest Imperative: Documenting a Decade of Hate and the bi-weekly newsletter, The Northwest Update. Check back often for additional archive items, including copies of the journal, The Dignity Report, reports, and other publications from these outstanding organizations.

To visit the archive, click here, or select "NWCHD ARCHIVE" from the main menu.

New Report on the "Minutemen"
Friday, 30 September 2005
We are pleased to announce the latest CNC special report, "Shell Games: The 'Minutemen' and Vigilante Anti-Immigrant Politics." The report is available here. (pdf)
OP ED: The Minutemen are Coming
Friday, 30 September 2005

By Devin Burghart and David Ostendorf

From a small band of aging volunteers patrolling the Arizona desert for “illegals,” the anti-immigrant vigilantes known as the “Minutemen” are attempting to organize a muscular force well into the nation’s interior. With some forty chapters in eighteen states, Minutemen will soon arrive in Chicago to “protect” the city from the “invasion” of the undocumented masses.

Read more...
NEW REPORT BLASTS AMERICANS FOR LEGAL IMMIGRATION – PAC
Tuesday, 21 June 2005
Chicago - According to a report just released by the Center for New Community, the Raleigh, North Carolina political action community Americans for Legal Immigration (ALI – PAC) has deep ties to both border vigilantes and anti-Latino bigots.
Read more...
Stripped: National Alliance Chairman Forced to Resign
Tuesday, 07 June 2005

Facing the third major blow since the death of founder William Pierce, the National Alliance (NA) has been bloodied by another coup attempt. The latest rift in the National Alliance cost the organization several local units, exposed many embarrassing details, and forced the resignation of the group’s Chairman.

Read more...
Abernethy Attacks FAIR, Fred Elbel
Thursday, 21 April 2005
The feud inside the anti-immigrant movement continues to expand, particularly the vitriol between self-proclaimed white "separatist" Virginia Abernethy (Protect Tennessee Now, Protect America Now, Council of Conservative Citizens, Occidental Quarterly) and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR).
Read more...
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