On June 10, 2023, eighteen white supremacists – from two different neo-Nazi groups - held three separate demonstrations in Florida. At least six participants traveled from out of state for the events, which took place outside Disney World in Orlando and at a park in Lakeland. These gatherings show how profoundly a small group of extremists can impact entire communities -- and make residents feel that the hate is local.
At the gathering in Orlando, thirteen individuals associated with the Order of the Black Sun (OBS) demonstrated with swastika flags as well as racist and anti-LGBTQ+ signs, shouting slurs and giving Nazi salutes. The same group later repeated the same tactics from an area overpass. At the Disney protest, participants carried “DeSantis 2024” campaign signs, presumably to troll Florida’s governor, whom they oppose.
Meanwhile, five individuals associated the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) held an anti-LGBTQ+ protest at Munn Park in Lakeland, Florida. The small group was led by Burt Colucci of Lakeland, who shouted obscenities and slurs through a megaphone.
The Groups and Participants
The Order of the Black Sun formed in 2023 after infighting split Florida’s sprawling white supremacist network. Among the Florida-based OBS organizers who were present Saturday: Adam Donaldson, Jason Brown and David Wydner.
Donaldson, an antisemitic conspiracy theorist, was previously active with the Goyim Defense League (GDL), and participated in the network’s antisemitic “tour” of Texas in Oct 2021. Brown and Wydner are former members of the National Socialist Movement; both attended NSM-organized rallies in Orlando in January and October 2022. In 2021, Brown was very active in the GDL, playing a significant role in the network’s antisemitic tours in both Florida and Texas. Brown, who is originally from New Jersey, is also associated with the New Jersey European Heritage Association.
At least two individuals who joined the OBS protest were from out of state, including former NSM member Ronald Murray of Cleveland, Texas, and GDL supporter Anthony Altick of St Louis, Missouri. Altick also traveled to Florida in February 2023 to join the GDL’s antisemitic demonstrations in front of the Chabad of South Orlando and outside the International Speedway in Daytona Beach.
In Lakeland, Burt Colucci was joined by four out of state NSM members, including John Rios of Nevada, Cheryl Dref of Texas, Sabrina Burnside of Pennsylvania and Joel Patterson of New York.