|Event announcement on Stormfront|
The extreme right and the far left clashed violently in the Chicago area over the weekend of May 19, with police making arrests on both sides. The scene, however, was not the high-profile NATO Summit hosted by the city of Chicago that weekend. Rather, the clash occurred at a small restaurant in Tinley Park, Illinois, where a group of white supremacists were holding their own confab, a “White Nationalist Economic Summit.”
Around 15 white supremacists from around the country attended this “economic summit,” only to have it crashed by a roughly equal number of left-wing and anarchist activists associated with the Chicago-based Southside Anti-Racist Action (ARA), a group that has disrupted past white supremacist events in Chicago, and the Indiana-based Hoosier Anti-Racist Movement (HARM). The left-wing activists allegedly attacked the white supremacists with baseball bats, hammers, and metal chains, causing injuries that led three people to be taken to the hospital with head injuries. Police subsequently arrested five of the activists (all from HARM), charging them with mob action, aggravated battery and criminal damage to property.
The Tinley Park event was the fifth white supremacist “economic summit” organized since 2010, four of which have occurred in the Midwest. It was organized by white supremacists from Illinois and South Dakota under the auspices of the “Illinois European Heritage Association.” Most attendees were members of the racist Stormfront website, and some had associations with other extremist groups, such as the National Socialist Movement and the Knights Party. The events are something of an outgrowth of a white supremacist concept known as the Pioneer Little Europe (PLE) movement, which seeks to establish mutually supportive white supremacist enclaves throughout the United States.
Police also arrested two of the attendees at the “summit.” Steven Eugene Speers, 33, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, was arrested on a child pornography warrant from Texas, while Francis John Gilroy, Jr., 65, of West Palm Beach, Florida, was charged with unlawful possession of weapons by a felon.
Left-wing activists and white supremacists alike have been angered and energized by this violent confrontation, opening the possibility of future violent clashes or acts of retaliation. The organizers of the summit, meanwhile, are planning a future event in Omaha, Nebraska.