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Mar 19, 17

Joppa, Maryland: Shut Down Neo-Nazi Music Fest at VFW Hall

Editor’s Note: IGD has gotten word that the VFW hall has cancaled the event. 

At 5:30 PM on March 25, white nationalists from throughout the region will be assembling at the Joppatowne Memorial VFW Post 5838 at 501 Pulaski Highway for a St Patrick’s Day gathering.  The 11th annual event was recently announced on hate site and is being coordinated by Baltimore area far-right record label Label 56. In light of the recent election of Donald Trump and the subsequent emboldening of white nationalism, the potential for this event to draw large numbers of militant white supremacists to recruit, network, and organize is significant.

Jason Tankersley, left, of Maryland State Skinheads, Matthew Heimbach, middle, of Traditionalist Worker Party, and Steve Smith, right, or Keystone Skinheads/United.

Label 56 distributes racist skinhead music CDs, videos, and merchandise. An article from anti-fascist research group One People’s Project indicates that “Label 56 is the music outlet for a violent neo-Nazi gang called Maryland State “Skinheads” (MDS). MDS head Jason Tankersley, while more involved with their Mixed Martial Arts arm has some organizational input over Label 56 as well.” A link for Label 56 appears on the homepages of several other Northeastern racist skinhead groups, including the Keystone State Skinheads, American Thule Society, and the Vinlanders Social Club. Maryland State Skinheads, Keystone United and Supreme White Alliance members are regular attendees.

The guestlist has also included Matthew Heimbach, founder of the controversial White Student Union at Towson State and its successor the Traditionalist Youth Network. In 2015, he gave a speech which urged, That the time has come for white people of all religions to stand up together to fight that which intends to destroy us and our culture.”  Steve Smith, Republican county committeeman for Luzerne County PA  and co-founder of Keystone State Skinheads (known as Keystone United since 2009), has also been an attendee.

This event is indicative of the rise of white supremacism and the growing organizational capacity of the far-Right nationally. The Ku Klux Klan, and specifically the East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire, have been distributing flyers locally in Ellicott City, Towson, and Bel Air, and as far away as North Carolina. It is important to oppose the increasing Neo-Nazi presence together. Time is of the essence. The Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee (GDC) is monitoring developments in Maryland and working with at-risk communities to respond as they emerge. The GDC encourages everyone to get involved in taking an active stance now.

Mid-Atlantic General Defense Committee Local 21
[email protected]

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