For more than a year, white supremacists from a variety of hate groups have organized events and activities under the banner of “white lives matter.” What started as a transparent white supremacist slogan designed to respond to the Black Lives Matter movement is now used to protest a range of topics including the removal of confederate symbols from public spaces, immigration, the Anti-Defamation League, and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
On January 8, approximately 15 white supremacists including neo-Nazis and racist skinheads used the “white lives matter” banner to protest the recent attack of a local special-needs white man by a group of black Chicago teens. Referring to the assault in a YouTube video prior to the event, one of the event organizers said, “This is what happens when you let Jews run your country.” and “This is what happens when multi-culturalism rots the very soul of your nation and your community.”
The event, organized by the Nationalist Front, an umbrella organization created last year during the National Socialist Movement’s (NSM) annual gathering to celebrate Hitler’s birthday, was held in front of the menorah in Chicago’s Daley Plaza. According to a summary about the protest posted on the NSM’s website, the location was selected because of the menorah’s proximity to city hall and their assertion that “Jews have long claimed Chicago.”
The speakers for the Chicago event included Jeff Schoep the leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement, and Matthew Heimbach, the leader of the Traditionalist Worker Party, the so called “political arm” of the Traditionalist Youth Network, a group created by Heimbach with the goal of attracting youth to white nationalism.
Also present were supporters of The Right Stuff, an anti-Semitic website, as well as racist skinheads from Blood and Honour USA and, according to Heimbach, members of Soldiers of Odin, an anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim group that originated in Finland.