Monthly Archives: August 2014

UPDATED: White Nationalist Band and KSS Associates Norsewind Kicked off Philly Pagan Pride Day

UPDATED 9/15/14: The controversy around Norsewind prompted an excellent article on “The Wild Hunt,” a Neo-Pagan website by guest author Ryan Smith of Heathens United Against Racism. We highly recommend reading it.

Our favorite part:

The greater patterns of misogyny, racism, fundamentalism, homophobic and transphobic words and deeds do not solely exist in the mainstream. Many of these assumptions are at work in our communities and in our movement. If we dig out the organized, most egregious examples of these toxins by root, stem, and branch, but leave undisturbed the soil in which their seeds first took root, then we will be passing this terrible burden on to the next generation of Heathens. Without decisively removing the ubiquitous influence of systemic prejudices against the marginalized in our society, then any immediate success over organized hate groups will be at best a fleeting victory. – See more at: http://wildhunt.org/2014/09/guest-post-ending-silence-to-end-the-bigotry.html#sthash.OUfLevjS.dpuf
White Nationalist Band Norswind. From left to right: Anna Hagalaz, Daniel Norris and Paul Fredericks

White Nationalist Band Norsewind. From L to R: Anna Hagalaz, Daniel Norris and Paul Fredericks

Tomorrow, Saturday 8/30 in Clark Park, is The Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day.  This event will bring together pagans, heathens and other adherents of non-Abrahamic faiths. Unfortunately, a band with strong ties to the Keystone State “Skinheads” was scheduled to play at this family-friendly event.  Fortunately, after the organizers of the event were alerted by Philly Antifa and supporters in the philly pagan community, Norsewind was removed from the bill.

A statement from the organizers of Philly Pagan Pride Day:

PRESS RELEASE August 23rd, 2014

The mission of the Pagan Pride Project is to foster pride in Pagan identity through education, activism, charity and community. In keeping with that mission, Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is intended to bring together Heathens and Pagans of all traditions to advance understanding, communication, and fellowship among the various communities.

Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day is an open, public, family-friendly harvest event. We welcome anyone to participate who supports our mission and/or wishes to learn more about the Pagan community and our beliefs. An important facet of the mission is to build community among Pagans, Heathens and adherents of non-traditional faith systems and to educate the greater community about those beliefs. The event is designed as a celebration of life and of a community that contains diverse elements. That being said, we also find hate and intolerance in any form abhorrent and counterproductive to our mission.

We on the board of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day are committed to our stated mission as part of the greater Pagan Pride Project. The integrity of the PPPD and its mission and the safety of the participants are our primary obligations as organizers of the event.

Any decisions made regarding changes to the schedule of events are based solely on the effort to fulfill our mission and to provide an enjoyable and meaningful event for our community. The views, opinions, and outside affiliations of the participants and attendees of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day do not necessarily reflect the views of the organization, its board, or event volunteers.

In love and light, bright blessings,

The Board of Philadelphia Pagan Pride Day

———————————————-

That’s really as simple as it was. Despite claims by the band’s drummer Paul Fredericks (aka “Poul Augustsson”) that Antifa Philadelphia had threatened the band, event and organizers, the reality is that a brief e-mail exchange with some pictures made it perfectly clear that Norsewind and the people they were inviting to Pagan Pride Day were not in synch with their stated mission. We would like to commend the organizers for taking action as soon as they learned of Norsewind’s affiliations.

Antifascists first heard about Norsewind in 2009.  Two of their members, Daniel Norris (aka “Danjul Norse”) and Daniel Riegel (who has since died and been replaced by Hagalaz) attended KSS’ Leif Ericson Day Celebration in Fairmount Park.  Daryle from One People’s Project was there to show opposition and filmed the event. Riegel was very vocal and came up to argue with Daryle at the end of the video. Because the extent of their ties to KSS were not known at the time, people gave them the benefit of the doubt that they were just duped viking nerds.

All that's missing is the longboats. Also, both these guys are wearing Leif Ericson Day shirts in this picture.

All that’s missing are the long-ships. Also, both these guys are wearing Leif Ericson Day shirts in this picture.

Recently, however, it was discovered not only that Norris had been in attendance at the Leif Ericson Day celebration in 2009, but that Norsewind had become something of the KSS house band, playing parties, wakes and even THIS YEAR’S Leif Ericson Day celebration after party.

The band even appears on a Stormfront (the world’s largest neo-nazi message board) thread about “Your Favorite White Nationalist Bands.” The poster, Tremley, is none other than KSS associate Ron Sheehy, a NJ Neo-Nazi and internet troll who Antifa smashed in Harrisburg a while back.

For more info on the band’s connections to KSS and other Nazis: http://antifa-joe.tumblr.com/post/96074016471/norsewind

You want to be the soundtrack to the slow death of the white nationalist movement? Then a lot of promoters and venues won’t any anything to do with you or your core of Nazi fans.

MARCH AGAINST RACISTS AND RAPISTS – PHILADELPHIA

Capture

Drive the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis Out of Philly

Neo-Nazis and members of the KKK are living and organizing in Tacony, and Philadelphia in general.  KKK grand dragon William Walters, who lives at 7111Torresdale, infiltrated a local neighborhood watch until he was discovered and expelled.  Following his expulsion, Walters and several other Klansmen staged a demonstration outside the Tacony library.  With almost no notice, a protest was called and many people from Tacony who happened to just be passing by joined with Anti-Racists to oppose the Klan.

http://www.phillymag.com/news/2014/06/23/kkk-philadelphia-rally-free-library-tacony/

http://phillydeclaration.org/2014/06/22/tacony-ku-klux-klan-rally-shouted-down-by-community-members/

Since the rally, Walters has been giving interviews to media advocating for a return to the racism, segregation and sexism of 1860’s America. Walters is also attempting to start his own Klan-run neighborhood watch in Tacony.

Another Racist and Fascist organization operating in the area is the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS), also known as Keystone United (KU) and/or the Be Active Front USA (BAF).  Several members and supporters of KSS live in Philadelphia, some of them in Tacony.  KSS organizes a march and rally in Fairmount Park annually (billed as a “Leif Ericson Day” celebration) and has recently been spotted putting up racist and fascist graffiti around North Philly, some of which has been covered up by
Anti-Fascists.

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2013/10/21/keystone-state-skinheads-hold-annual-leif-erikson-rally/

http://leifericsondayprotest.wordpress.com/

http://phillyantifa.wordpress.com/2013/04/24/racist-graffiti-in-port-richmond-and-kensington-covered-up-by-antifa/

Like Walters’ Klan group, KSS claims to not be racist or violent.  But like the KKK, members of KSS have been involved in assault, rape and murder, often purely because of the victims race. In fact, the head (and co-founder) of KSS, Steve Smith, is a former Klansman himself.

Keystone State Skinheads

In May, a supporter of KSS and former attendee at their Leif Ericson Day event, Vincent Pellegrino, raped a woman in Kensington before driving his car into a wall, killing himself.

http://articles.philly.com/2014-05-22/news/50005035_1_kensington-section-400-block-26-year-old-woman

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/dncrime/Alleged-rapist-fleeing-crime-crashes-car-dies.html?c=r

http://www.splcenter.org/blog/2014/05/28/keystone-state-skins-associate-dies-in-car-crash-after-fleeing-scene-of-reported-rape/

Vincent’s brother, Nunzio, is a KSS member who as been putting up Nazi and Racist graffiti around Philadelphia. He lives at 6403 Ditman street.

The Philadelphia director of KSS, Anthony James (A.J.) Olsen, lives at 2913 Knorr Street with his girlfriend and KSS Supporter Briana Pietropaula.

Philly KSS member Joseph Phy lives with his partner and fellow Nazi Stacey Sautner at 4383 Salmon Street in Bridesburg.

In good news, shortly after a demonstration by a small group of Tacony residents and Philly Antifa, 2 key organizers for KSS who were also living in Tacony moved out of the city.

Antifa Philadelphia thinks enough is enough.  We are calling on all Anti-Racists, Anti-Fascists, Feminists, GLBT and anyone else opposed to the KKK and KSS organizing and living in our city to join us for a March Against Racists and Rapists through Tacony.

We will gather at the Tacony Library at 6:00pm.

A better world is possible, but not if we have to be dealing with these assholes for the rest of our lives. Be part of the solution to inequality. Be Anti-Fascist.

In Solidarity,
Antifa Philadelphia

WHERE: TACONY LIBRARY, 6742 TORRESDALE AVE, PHILADELPHIA

WHEN: 6:00 PM SHARP September 6th, 2014

Philly Antifa Marches in Solidarity with Ferguson Insurrection

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A few members of Antifa Philadelphia participated in Tonight’s (8/20) Rally and March in Solidarity with the people of Ferguson resisting the police and national guard called by the Travon Martin Organizing Committee.

From the call:

Another Black man dead. This would be just another day like every other day in America, if it weren’t for one simple fact: Ferguson turned out, stood up, and has refused to get back on its knees.

Mike Brown was days away from college? Don’t care.

Didn’t he steal some cigars? Don’t care.

What about the looters? Don’t care.

Mike Brown was black, guilty of only this, which made him guilty of all else: (jay)walking while black, (back)talking while black, breathing while black. Black like Oscar Grant, black like Kathryn Johnson, black like Renisha Mcbride, black like Eric Garner, like Rodney King, like Emmett Till. All black, and all guilty.

Mike Brown’s life was of value–is of value. Full stop. No college degree makes that so; no robbery takes that away. The people of Ferguson recognize this. White supremacy’s subtle baiting of thievery, college degrees and saggy pants and talking back does not.

We talk back. We turn up. We stand tall. With Ferguson–for Mike, for every black body in America robbed of its right to live–for every injustice that we are growing sick and tired of. We are done with your police/media slander campaigns. We are sick with anger.

It is too late for containing it.

Not another. Not another. Not one more.

 

Turnup for Ferguson in Philly

Turnup for Ferguson in Philly

Former ELF/Green Scare Prisoner “Exile” Now a Fascist

Sad news out of the Pacific Northwest. Already Exile’s fascist tendencies and affiliations are garnering resistance, though. A show scheduled in the Bay area on August 2nd was cancelled after one of the bands promoted themselves as “Nathan Block’s neofolk project Ekstasis” and concerned parties alerted the promoter to Block’s shadiness.

A statement about the show being cancelled was posted on Anarchist News in the comments to this article and is also worth reading:

The show scheduled for Saturday, August 2 was being promoted by a person who runs a black metal label in the Bay Area. The band was being promoted as “Nathan Block’s neofolk project Ekstasis” (verbatim). If this is not Nathan Block’s band, then it is unfortunate that it was being promoted that way. Concerned parties would be well-advised to talk with the people responsible for the show’s promotion.

In regard to the response written by a band member, it is by no stretch of the imagination appropriate to call concerned people “fascists” for simply talking with the owner of the venue. The essence of fascism is not predicated on a foundation of neofolk show cancellations.
The insistence that it is “fascist” for people to talk to a venue about the nature of a show suggests that there is a fundamental problem with people alerting show spaces about problematic bands. This sentiment insinuates that regardless of a band’s racial politics it is wrong to contact a show space about concerns. In no way should people feel compelled to be silent about these situations.

If this situation was merely the result of confusion about the band’s membership, it is odd that this is mentioned nowhere in the response. It is especially strange given the fact that the band informed the owner of the venue that they did not know a “Nathan Block”. Instead of a clear explanation, we are presented with a long-winded, self-important rant riddled with great leaps of logic that leave more questions than answers.

It is unclear why this response states that anyone has declared what people can or cannot read. A few people calling a venue does not equate to a book ban. To be clear, there is no logical comparison to be made between Senator Joseph McCarthy’s state-supported campaign against the American Left and a handful of marginalized people calling a venue about a scheduled show believed to have white nationalist ties. The owners of the venue made their own decision based on what they saw and heard, at no point were they threatened or intimidated.
Conversations that people have had with some members of the band have obviously left them very concerned. It seems that the statement released directly conflicts with some of these conversations, leaving people unsure of what is really going on.

To be clear, we are not convinced that the faith of a white American exempts them from the possibility of being racist, nor are we partial to the “black friend” lineage of dialectics. If the band members are not associated with white nationalist politics, then this situation is unfortunate. We hope this is the case, yet this would conflict with conversations people have had with the band in the past.

Perhaps this situation should be better contextualized.

The old fascist forms have, for the most part, been superseded by contemporary reactionary movements in the social, cultural, and political spheres. It goes without saying that America of 2014 is not Germany of 1933, and that the character of white nationalism is always specific to the terrain. The handful of idiots still goose stepping through the streets with Swastika armbands have been marginalized even by the larger white supremacist movement. In Germany, the new fascist is a vegan hipster. In Russia, fascists run the streets in black blocs.

Today, racist movements around the world have used much of the theory of anarchism and imagery of punk rock to make themselves more appealing and relevant. This is the so-called “third-positionist” tendency. The reactionary movements of this decade will not look like the tendencies of years past.

Paradoxically, there are few 21st century racist formations in America who do not claim to oppose racism. The Minuteman Project, Keystone State Skinheads, Vinlanders’ Social Club, Bay Area National Anarchists, and Youth For Western Civilization all claim to oppose the oppression of other races and state they exist for the defense of their own people. Across the world, reactionary groups now hide their racism behind the facade of cultural preservation and “separate but equal” politics.

In the United States as in Europe, white supremacy has developed a political following in the cultural realm. The neofolk scene, tracing its roots to Death in June and Current 93, has always had a clear yet unfortunate association with white nationalism. Blood Axis, Changes, Fire and Ice, Waldteufel, Die Weisse Rose, Of The Wand and Moon, and Blood and Sun are among the bands in the white nationalist current of neofolk. Even Stella Natura, the giant neofolk festival held in the Tahoe National Forest, is sponsored by the white nationalist Asatru Folk Assembly. The racist Viking Brotherhood does security for the festival. The fascist publisher Counter-Currents tables the event.

As members of Ekstasis attend and play this festival, they are certainly well aware of the racial dynamics of that scene. In this context, it is not surprising that, when it is announced that a neofolk band with white nationalist ties is coming to play in Oakland, people would be concerned.

The presence of racism in the ecological movement is as old as the word “ecology” itself. The white nationalist tendencies within the neofolk scene are documented and well known. Conversation around these disconcerting issues is important and will continue.

-Some Bay Area Anarchists.