Update 10/28/2014: Predictably and pathetically, the day after this post a group of around 15-20 Boneheads associated with KSS from as far as Indiana showed up in Fairmount Park and posed for photos. DLJ has the full story at One People’s Project, but we got news for you boneheads: holding a secret celebration on October 25th for a Holiday that is October 9th may be a good way to avoid opposition, but it isn’t an effective way to grow your movement. With that in mind, we are not going to change the headline or body of text of this article.
The Leif Erikson Day Celebration was an event held in Philadelphia every year since 2007 that brought Neo-Nazis from all over the country to our city under the guise of celebrating a Nordic Explorer. It was, in reality, an attempt by the Keystone State “Skinheads” to hold a public presence in Philadelphia, if only for one day a year, while pushing their “family friendly” brand of Neo-Nazism.
Antifa Philadelphia is pleased to announce that, following their embarrassing defeat last year, KSS did not hold their Leif Erikson Day event in 2014, choosing instead to rally against illegal immigration in Mossic, PA alongside local republicans and militia members. Daryl from One People’s Project has more info about that event and a grassroots opposition already developing out there to KSS.
This is a significant victory. This event was a feather in the cap of KSS. In previous years it drew upwards of 75 hardcore Nazi Boneheads and some years it drew little to no opposition at all. Groups that had attended the event in the past included the Vinlanders Social Club, Blood and Honour, Advanced White Society, The Hated Skins, The Aryan Terror Brigade, Volksfront the Blood and Honour. Unlike most public events organized by Nazis, KSS was able to avoid large opposition to Leif Ericson Day by carefully hiding their real affiliations and goals. Until last year.
Antifa Philadelphia made it a goal to put a stop to Leif Erikson Day for good. We participated in a coalition of groups known as Residents Against Racism who rallied over 200 people to protest KSS. A blockade of Antifascists stopped the Nazis from holding their traditional “march” down Lemon Hill, forcing them to break ranks and be marched down hand in hand by Philly PD. Sources within KSS tell us the event was considered a huge embarrassment and waste of resources by most of the Nazis who attended. But that was only the beginning.
Following LED, Antifa Philadelphia launched “Operation: Full Consequences.” We exposed almost every person who attended the event. We outed the band that played the after-party and who are Nazis themselves, Norsewind, and got them removed from at least one show, with more to come. We took the fight to KSS where they live and exposed them to their neighbors, driving one of their members to renounce the group entirely and another 2 members to move out of the city. It’s no surprise that when October rolled around again this year, KSS would quietly post a “Happy Leif Erikson Day” message on their blog with no mention of the event having ever existed.
It is worth noting that in one previous year KSS did not hold their event, and then threw together a quick photo op in Fairmount Park after Antifascists called them out. It is irrelevant whether a handful of Nazis manage to secretly converge at a statue for a half an hour. The fact that KSS is not able to openly organize or rally and are forced to maneuver in secret is in itself a victory that makes it clear that Philly will not be safe territory for fascists.
It is important to recognize and savor these victories. However, this was just one battle in a war against racism and fascism. Antifa Philadelphia will continue to expose, oppose and confront these groups and their supporters. This fight can be won, and we intend to win.