Neo-Nazis Overwhelmed by ND Protesters
It seems that the citizens of the Leith, North Dakota, population about two dozen, are not the only people who are unhappy about the plan by a couple of white supremacists to turn their town into a haven for racism and hate. Members of the National Socialist Movement had planned to hold a public “town hall” on Sunday to “explain” their goals, but their plans backfired big time:
Hundreds of demonstrators turned out in the tiny North Dakota town of Leith on Sunday to protest plans by an American Nazi group to move in and take over the local government.
The loud but peaceful demonstrators, many of them Native Americans from nearby reservations, were on hand for a visit from Jeff Schoep, commander of the National Socialist Movement, and several followers.
The National Socialist Movement is America’s largest neo-Nazi organization, founded in 1974 by former members of the American Nazi Party, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center.
The group hopes to move enough members into Leith – population 17 – to take over the local government.
“We have to start somewhere,” Schoep told Reuters. “So if we start in small towns and spread out from there, it’s sort of a test ground in that sense, where if we’re able to get off the ground here, then we’re able to get off the ground in other places.”
Schoep and his followers were in Leith on Sunday to survey property purchased for them by local resident Craig Cobb, whose yard is adorned with swastika flags.
Local officials oppose the group’s plans.
Leith Mayor Ryan Schock said city officials were discussing the possibility of unincorporating the city and turning it back over to the county to scuttle the hate group’s plans.
“This is a small, quiet town,” Schock said. “Families live around here, and it’s a very close-knit community. I really wish it hadn’t gotten to this point.”