White supremacists, anti-Semites, anti-government extremists and conspiracy theorists are among speakers scheduled to appear at “Freedompalooza 2013,” organized by Paul Topete, lead singer of the band Pokerface and an anti-Semite and anti-government extremist. It is the third time Topete has organized such an event in Pennsylvania, but he allegedly has plans to organize future events in other regions of the country.
Freedompalooza will take place from July 4-6, 2013, in Bucks County in eastern Pennsylvania. Although a local restaurant is providing the property and selling food at the event, the primary sponsor (and promoter) of the event is the American Free Press, the anti-Semitic and conspiracy-oriented newspaper published by long-time white supremacist Willis Carto.
Topete has lined up a long list of bands and speakers, many of the latter coming from extremist and fringe movements and causes. One theme that unites many speakers is virulent anti-Semitism or anti-Israel sentiment. Two of the more prominent speakers, for example, are former members of Congress: Cynthia McKinney and James Traficant. McKinney is a long-time anti-Israel activist who has supported anti-Semitic groups such as the Nation of Islam and the New Black Panther Party, while Traficant, since his release from prison on federal racketeering and bribery convictions, has joined the American Free Press, in whose pages he has expressed his own anti-Semitic and anti-Israel views. Another scheduled speaker is Jim Condit, Jr., who several times ran for Congress in Ohio, taking advantage of his candidate status to obtain a platform for expressing his anti-Semitic views in radio advertisements.
Other speakers reportedly scheduled to attend include Merlin Miller, the 2012 presidential candidate of the white supremacist American Freedom Party, several American Free Press writers, and Cynthia Steele, the wife of white supremacist attorney Edgar Steele (currently serving a 50-year sentence for conspiracy to murder Cynthia, a charge she claims is false).
Freedompalooza will also host a variety of anti-government extremist speakers, including representatives from several militia groups, a representative from the anti-government and conspiratorial Oath Keepers, and the Appleseed Project, a marksmanship program that warns attendees that they may have to (literally) fight the government to maintain their liberty.
Also present will be Larry Pratt, head of the Gun Owners of America, a radical gun rights group, and Jeff Christopher, a sheriff from Delaware with ties to Michael Peroutka, former presidential candidate of the right-wing extremist Constitution Party. Christopher’s battle with the state of Delaware over that state’s decision to eliminate the arrest powers of its three county sheriffs has been much promoted by the American Free Press and other right-wing sources.