Filed under: Action, Anti-fascist, Police, The Grouch, Video
Police in the bay area city of Berkeley, California were filmed by a neo-Nazi associated with the “Goyim Defense League (GDL),” standing by and watching while another member of the group placed up an anti-Semitic banner blaming Jewish people for the attacks on 9/11, over the heavily trafficked Highway 80 freeway. The incident was first reported on by Berkeley Antifa on Twitter. The GDL, which gained media attention last year for anti-Semitic vandalism and real world harassment, is made up of a loose collection of neo-Nazis across the US, including off and on again Proud Boy, Jovi Val.
In the GDL’s livestream video, the neo-Nazi filming the banner drop, Jon Minadeo, 38, from Petaluma, can be heard yelling racial and homophobic slurs to oncoming traffic. Later, Minadeo is seen walking with a Berkeley police officer, A Gasper, who is listed as an officer that joined the Berkeley Police force in 2017. While walking, Minadeo asks Gasper if he has been vaccinated yet, which Gasper jokingly responds with, “Sir, those are HIPPA questions,” referring to statutes on medical privacy.
Minadeo then proceeds to go on an anti-Semitic rant, claiming that Jews run the media, big business, yet also want to “start a revolution” with Black Lives Matter and “communist, faggot antifa.” After ending his rant, Minadeo then takes the banner down along with the help of another neo-Nazi. Minadeo can be seen wearing an “SS” death’s head necklace and a hat with the white nationalist, “Black Sun” logo. At one point, Minadeo can also be heard mentioning that he has pepper spray with him and can also be seen wearing gloves with reenforced knuckles, a favorite among far-Right street brawlers.
Earlier today, Jon Minadeo of Petaluma came to Berkeley with one other person to drop banners on the pedestrian bridge over the freeway. The banners promoted anti-Semitic conspiracy theories regarding 9/11. pic.twitter.com/Rr7QYx8U7D
— Berkeley Antifa (@berkeleyantifa) September 12, 2021
During this entire time, several Berkeley police officers stay with Minadeo, who thanks them after taking the banner down and interacting with other neo-Nazis watching him on social media. “Thank you god for keeping us safe today and for giving us some good police officers,” Minadeo says, “Thank you for being fair…And I hope you didn’t get vaccinated bro, I pray for you that you didn’t.”
Neo-Nazi Jon Minadeo of the Goyim Defense League is now banned from Enterprise and Alamo nationwide after his tires were slashed after he lead a homophobic protest outside of the Pulse nightclub in Florida. Jovi Val was also assaulted by a security guard. pic.twitter.com/7Nth3UaQfZ
— Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists – Palestina Libre! (@COSAntiFascists) May 10, 2021
“This was a great day,” says Minadeo towards the end of the stream. At one point while walking back to their Uhaul rental truck, Minadeo claims someone spit on him, and turns to the police standing guard behind him. “I was on the phone, sorry. What would you like us to do?,” asks one of the police officers. Minadeo shakes it off before stating, “Thanks for allowing us to drop a banner today. Thank you.”
Yesterday, the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center of Florida was the target of an antisemitic hate group. Their van, decorated with Holocaust denial and hate filled messages, pulled up to our driveway in an attempt to protest on our property. 1/ #Antisemitism pic.twitter.com/fuc7X64K27
— Holocaust Center (@holocaustcenter) May 7, 2021
According to Northern California Anti-Racist Action (NoCARA):
Minadeo has routinely participated in small-scale anti-Semitic activism as well as used the internet to spread white supremacist content while networking with fellow travelers. Minadeo’s efforts to establish and grow a following around the United States combined with his calls for friends and supporters to follow him in harassing Jewish people make Minadeo a threat that NoCARA believes should be taken seriously.
Jon Minadeo, a 37 year old Petaluma resident who operates the organization Goyim Defense League (GDL) under the pseudonym “The Handsome Truth,” has been engaging in anti-Semitic activities around Northern California for years. Originally attracted to conspiracy theories as a result of his relationship to his uncle, Minadeo eventually gravitated towards white supremacist conspiracies about Jews after finding Infowars and continuing to slide even further right from the thinly veiled anti-Semitism of Alex Jones to full-on explicit holocaust denial. Before finding a way to collect cash selling clothing on the GDL’s webstore, Minadeo tried his hand and failed at both being an actor and being a rapper (as “Shoobie Da Wop”). Now further along his downward spiral, Minadeo attributes his personal failures to a conspiracy of Jews who he asserts are pursuing an anti-European agenda and have complete control of the American media.
Minadeo’s local activities are pathetic and sad, centering predominately around flyering and driving cars decorated with provocative slogans and messages denying the Holocaust. He engages in ridiculous public stunts, such as performing anti-Semitic caricatures dressed as a rabbi, which serve to remind us all why he really never made it as an actor. Minadeo’s flyers have appeared at several locations around his local area, including San Marin High School in Novato, where they caught the attention of local police at the time.
His GDL website prominently features adulation of Adolf Hitler, the Third Reich, assorted Nazi officers and various prominent fascists throughout history, and is littered with the same delusional obsessions with “Jewish global domination” and “Zionist occupied government” that commonly appear on white nationalist propaganda sites. Numerous times he flirts with genocidal images and quotes, eventually advocating for genocide himself.
Minadeo and the GDL are linked with neo-Nazi and white nationalist groups across the US, and use social media to organize. In the recent past, Minadeo has met-up with and interacted with Patrick Little, another neo-Nazi with bay area roots, as well as attending rallies promoting COVID-19 conspiracies alongside members of the Proud Boys. Minadeo, along with other members of the GDL, have also put up other banners at the same highway overpass in Berkeley and carried out flyering campaigns in Colorado and Florida. To make money, Minadeo sells t-shirts promoting Hitler and also goes on road trips with other neo-Nazis, livestreaming various anti-Semitic stunts and rallies while asking for online donations. In Florida, where a member of the group was arrested, the neo-Nazis wrote across their van, “Hitler Was Right,” while harassing a Holocaust education center, the Pulse nightclub, and a pro-Isreal rally.
GDL van driven by Minadeo in Florida covered in swastikas, anti-Semitic slurs, and “Hitler was Right”
As Berkeley Antifa pointed out on Twitter:
It’s despicable that the Berkeley police department would facilitate such an action, but we’re not surprised. They’ve been protecting neo-Nazis in Berkeley for years. As anti-fascists, we don’t depend on the cops or the courts. Instead we advocate for community self defense against white supremacist terror and organizing. Look out for one another and stay safe.
As is the trend nationally, Berkeley Police have long coordinated with far-Right groups, while working to repress antifascists. Throughout 2017, Berkeley police met with and coordinated various rallies featuring white nationalists, militia groups, and Proud Boys. According to documents from the Northern California Fusion Center, local law enforcement also wrote that they viewed “BLM” and “ANTIFA” groups as “KNOWN HATE GROUPS,” while saying nothing of the threat played by the white nationalist, Proud Boy, and militia organizations they were counter-protesting.
Document from Fusion Center. SOURCE: MuckRock
This is also not the first time that the GDL has been treated with kid gloves by the police. In May of this year, a Orange County Sheriff was video-tapped bringing GDL members water while they hung an anti-Semitic banner from the freeway and smiling in photos while standing next to the group.