After announcing he was taking a sabbatical from activism, Matthew Heimbach, the co-founder white supremacist Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), returned to racist activities during the month of June. Heimbach attended three events in June organized by the white Southern nationalist group League of the South (LOS).
Despite the fact that Heimbach was previously banned from the organization for attending neo-Nazi events, Heimbach not only attended the recent LOS annual conference but also took part in LOS demonstrations in Kentucky and Alabama.
On Saturday, June 1, Heimbach attended demonstrations organized by the Kentucky chapter of the League which took place in the towns of Carrollton, and Warsaw, Kentucky. At the demonstrations, Heimbach held a sign that read, “Feds out of Kentucky.” Another LOS protest is scheduled to take place in the town of Pikeville, Kentucky, on July 19. According to LOS, the demonstration will be in support of coal miners in the state “whose industry is being destroyed by the feds.”
Over the past two years, LOS changed tactics, focusing more on street activism in an attempt to attract new members and raise awareness about the organization and Southern nationalism. Brad Griffin, aka Hunter Wallace, the founder of the racist blog Occidental Dissent is the main promoter of this tactic. The theme of this year’s LOS national conference was “Hitting the Streets: Taking the Southern Nationalist Message to the Public.”
Griffin joined LOS two years ago and is responsible for bringing the organization closer to the Council of Conservative Citizens (CofCC), another racist organization with chapters around the South. Griffin is married to Renee Baum, the daughter of Gordon Baum, the head of CofCC. LOS and CofCC held demonstrations together for the first time during the past year. Griffin spoke about the issue of street activism and the media attention it garners at the LOS national conference last Saturday, June 28.
After their national conference ended on June 28, LOS held a demonstration in Wetumpka, Alabama, where the group is headquartered. Heimbach and many other conference attendees joined the event, which focused on supporting Southern workers who LOS claims are losing their jobs to immigrants. Many of the LOS protests are anti-immigrant but others focus on issues such as marriage equality. A similar demonstration is scheduled to take place in Gainesville, Georgia, on August 23.
Heimbach’s return to racist activism appears only to be with LOS for the time being. One possible reason for this is the LOS’s promotion of a racist version of Christian values, which Heimbach also embraces. It remains to be seen whether Heimbach will organize again with other racist organizations, but it’s clear that his sabbatical from racist activity is over.