Oct 2, 2007

Portlanders Will Rally Against the Neo-Nazi "Hammerskin Nation" Gang

Contact: Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism, fight_them_back@riseup.net
971.285.4688 (voicemail)

Portlanders Will Rally Against the Neo-Nazi "Hammerskin Nation" Gang
Community Gathering Responds to White Supremacist Festival

Portland, Oregon - As white supremacists plan a three-day gathering to be held in the greater Portland area from October 5 - 7, community members and anti-racists throughout the Pacific Northwest will gather in response on what is scheduled to be Day Two of the "Hammerfest" hate festival. An anti-racist community gathering and rally will take place on October 6, starting at 1PM in Lents Park located on SE 92nd & Holgate. The rally intends to expose white supremacist groups in the Northwest, as well as to bring diverse communities together in a stand against fascist organizing and violence aimed at Jewish people and people of color, sexual minorities, and activists.

The October 5 - 7 "Hammerfest" event is being planned by the neo-Nazi "Hammerskin Nation" skinhead organization. The Hammerskins hope to bring hundreds of racist skinheads and "white power" revolutionists to its twentieth-anniversary celebration. The Hammerskins began their organized activity in 1987, when they were known as the Confederate Hammerskins, a violent and racist skinhead gang in Dallas, TX. The Hammerskins have now grown into a "Hammerskin Nation" with national and international affiliates. The Hammerskins combine thug tactics with recruitment through hate rock, to forward their Hitler-admiring agenda. The upcoming "Hammerfest" in Oregon was organized in conjunction with Volksfront, a Portland-led white supremacist group linked to two of the killers of Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw in 1988. Similarly to the Hammerskins, Volksfront has chapters throughout North America and also on other continents.

Although still small, fascist groups have been growing in post-9/11 America. Small numbers may still have bigger influence, as Neo-Nazi sway is based on a willingness to use violence and to terrorize targets. Last week, a Virginia-based Neo-Nazi website made headlines after it published the personal information of Black high school students accused in the Louisiana "Jena Six" case, calling for their lynching. Just three days before the Portland "Hammerfest" starts, Hammerskin members in Florida will begin trial for the attempted assault of an anti-racist activist there. Those coming together for the Lents Park rally are determined that similar provocations do not take place here.

The October 6 Lents Park rally follows a series of other anti-racist events throughout Portland, including a well-attended "Rock Against Racism" show that was held on Wednesday. This Saturday, September 29 will feature an anti-fascist educational event and training (3PM, Room 236, Smith Center, Portland State University,) plus a "Musicians United Against Racism" show including hip hop, reggae and punk rock performers (8PM, The Recyclery, 1417 SE 9th & Madison).

Details concerning the Saturday, October 6 anti-racist event are below.

WHAT: Community gathering and rally: "Nazis Not Welcome! Unite Against Racism!"
WHO: Speakers and performers currently include Mic Crenshaw of Hungry Mob, Cristien Storm of "If You Don't, They Will" anti-fascist campaign, and Walidah Imarisha of Good Sista/Bad Sista. More to be announced in the coming days.
WHEN: Saturday, October 6, 1PM onwards.
WHERE: Lents Park, corner of SE 92nd & Holgate.

The October 6 rally in opposition to "Hammerfest" has been called by the Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism. Founded this September, the Ad-Hoc Committee is dedicated to monitoring and opposing white supremacist groupings in Portland and beyond. As large neo-Nazi rallies have often been preceded by bigoted attacks, the Ad-Hoc Committee wishes to work with community groups and people of good conscience who want to respond to fascist mobilization.

To obtain a chronology of recent white supremacist activity in the Pacific Northwest, or for more information on anti-racist endeavors, please contact the Ad-Hoc Committee: 971.285.4688 or fight_them_back@riseup.net