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Racists Gather in New Orleans

Over three hundred white supremacists gathered in New Orleans for the "2005 European American Conference," convened May 20 - 22 by David Duke.  The theme of the conference was the unification of Europeans and Americans in opposition to Jews, who were demonized as blood suckers and parasites who dominate media and government around the world.  A significant number of politically affiliated European racists addressed the crowd, including Nick Griffin and Simon Darby from the far-right British National Party, Karl Richter and Marcus Haverkamp from Germany's far-right National Democratic Party (NPD), Vavra Suk and Lennart Berg of Sweden, Jean-Michel Girard of France's far-right National Front, and Deirdre Fields of South Africa.  It remains unclear whether these disparate American and international white supremacist groups will be able coordinate their anti-Jewish rhetoric and cooperate in their activities, but the simple fact of their participation in Duke's New Orleans meeting is a significant development in the world of white supremacy and anti-Semitism.

Background

During the weekend of May 20-22, racist activists from the United States and Europe gathered for a conference in New Orleans sponsored by David Duke, former Klan leader and current head of the white supremacist European-American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO).   Duke, one of the leading propagandists of anti-Semitism in the United States and Europe, where his anti-Semitic book Jewish Supremacism is sold, made anti-Jewish hatred a focus of the conference.  In an ad promoting the gathering, Duke stated that European Americans are currently facing [their] "greatest crisis in history," and blamed an alleged ongoing "genocide" against every "White nation on earth" on "massive immigration" and "the worldwide power of Jewish supremacism."  Duke also blamed Jews in the Bush administration for the Iraq war and causing the deaths of American soldiers.

Duke is one of the few recognizable faces left on the racist right in the United States, which has seen some of its most notorious leaders die or be incarcerated in the last few years.  Joining Duke at the conference were numerous white supremacist leaders, including Kevin Strom from the neo-Nazi National Vanguard; Willis Carto, publisher of the anti-Semitic publications, American Free Press and The Barnes Review; and Don Black, who runs Stormfront, the longest-running white supremacist site on the Internet.  In addition, members of extreme-right parties in Europe, including Nick Griffin, chairman of the British National Party (BNP), and Vavra Suk, secretary of NationalDemokraterna, a far-right party in Sweden, were scheduled to attend.

Last year, Duke held a similar conference in New Orleans after he was released from prison for tax and mail fraud convictions.  The result of last year's conference was "The New Orleans Protocol," which stated that "nationalists" from different countries would agree to treat each other with respect, maintain a "high tone" in arguments and renounce violence.  However, in the year since that statement was released, the white supremacist movement has experienced bitter factional infighting.   David Duke is trying once again to establish himself as the leader who can unite the various factions on the racist right and play a major role in guiding the white supremacist movement in the United States.

Scheduled speakers included:

U.S. speakers
David Duke

Perhaps America's most infamous racist, David Duke was instrumental in the Klan resurgence of the 1970s, and is currently head of the white supremacist European American Unity and Rights Organization (EURO). He has been a frequent political candidate, and has made public appearances in recent years in Russia, Europe and the Middle East. Duke's messages typically include conspiratorial depictions of Jewish power and alleged Jewish hatred for non-Jews, a combination he refers to as "Jewish supremacism."

Dr. Edward Fields

Active since the late 1940s in white supremacist and anti-Semitic groups, Fields is known for having collaborated with notorious racist bomber J.B. Stoner (recently deceased). His crude writings continue to circulate widely. He still publishes the hate-filled newspaper The Truth At Last, and in 2003 joined the National Alliance.

Willis Carto

Now in his 70s, Carto is one of the most influential American anti-Semitic propagandists of the past 50 years.  He has been associated with nearly every significant far-right movement in the country. In 2001, both Carto and his organization Liberty Lobby were bankrupted after Carto lost a long court battle with the Institute for Historical Review, a Holocaust denial organization (which broke with him in 1993). His now-defunct publication, The Spotlight, which had been the most widely read publication on the fringe right, folded and reemerged under a new title, American Free Press, in August 2001.  Carto also publishes The Barnes Review, a Holocaust denial publication.

Kevin Strom

Strom was a leader in the neo-Nazi National Alliance for 20 years until his expulsion from the group in April 2005. He is now one of the driving forces behind the National Vanguard, a group formed that same month by former members of the National Alliance.  Strom, who delivered the National Alliance's weekly American Dissident Voices radio broadcasts, is now airing radio shows under the auspices of National Vanguard.  He also runs the National Vanguard Web site.

Don Black

Black, a Florida-based former Klansman and long-time friend of Duke's, became known world wide for creating Stormfront, the first major white supremacist Web site in 1995.

Bob Whitaker

An "independent" right-wing author, Whitaker has his own Web site and an Internet radio program.  In his writings he decries the ills of today's society, and expresses racist views.

Michael Collins Piper

A reporter for the American Free Press, a conspiracy-oriented, anti-Semitic publication published by Willis Carto. Piper has also written several books promoting anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, including claims that the Mossad was involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination, and that Israel and the American pro-Israel lobby control U.S. foreign policy. He also claims Israel was implicated in the events of 9/11.  In 2003, he lectured on anti-Israel and anti-Semitic themes (including the alleged truth of The Protocols of Zion) in the United Arab Emirates at the invitation of the Zayed Center.

Speakers from abroad:
Nick Griffin 

Head of the British National Party (BNP), a far-right party in Great Britain that attracts neo-Nazis, Griffin has been convicted in Great Britain for inciting race hatred and has denied that the Holocaust took place.  When Griffin joined the BNP in 1995, he began to edit The Rune, an anti-Semitic quarterly.

Lady Michele Renouf

Renouf is an Australian-born former model and author, and a controversial member of London's elite society. She has expressed virulent anti-Semitic views, espoused Holocaust denial, and is devoted to the cause of David Irving, a prominent Holocaust denier. She regularly appears on white extremist Web sites such as Stormfront and Vanguard News Network.

Paul Fromm

A Canadian white supremacist, Fromm is a recurring presence at U.S. gatherings of neo-Nazis and is a contributing editor to the Holocaust denial publication The Barnes Review.  Fromm runs the Canadian Association for Free Expression (CAFE), a group that advocates on behalf of white supremacists and Holocaust deniers.

Vavra Suf

Suf is the secretary of the Nationaldemokraterna (National Democratic Party), a far-right party in Sweden.

Pedro Varela

Owner of a bookstore in Barcelona, Spain, that sells books on National Socialism and Holocaust denial, Varela hosted Duke at his bookstore in March 2005, which resulted in Duke, Varela and the audience reportedly being attacked by anti-racist activists.

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