Volksfront: New and improved or just stale cookies?
A look into the efforts by White supremacist organizers in the Northwest
Social Movements have been defined differently over the years. During the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle, many different groups came together against globalization. Taking part in the protests were, Christians, unions, anarchists, Jews, small business owners, Buddhists, kids, middle class, men, environmentalists, homosexuals, communists, women, people of all colors, etc, etc, etc. With such a wide array of support from many different ideologies and belief systems we saw a new generation of social movement being born. It appears that Volksfront a European-American organization based in Oregon has tried to establish the same openness and is willing to work with all who agree with them and not to "espouse a particular political ideology."
According to Volksfront, they are a non-religious political movement organizing "for European Americans and the White working class." Volksfront claims to have members in three states including Oregon, Washington, and California. VF "engages in intensive prisoner outreach activities," which help fund "White political prisoners." VF has offices such as a Prisoner of War department, education and literature dept, financial dept, and security services. VF vociferously denies that they are not a racist, skinhead, group and do not espouse white supremacy. "Volksfront is not National Socialist nor do we believe in white supremacy." However, Volksfront stands opposed to "homosexuality, mass immigration displacing the white working class, gangs and crime, communism and capitalism as both exploit the working class, forced multi-culturalism and Zionism"
"Volksfront believes that the backbone of North America(n) economy and civilization is the White Working class. When our European forefathers came to this continent, the(y) learned the language and tried to assimilate into American society. New non European immigrants are attempting not to assimilate but to change our country into a replica of the third world ghettos from whence they came"(VF)
The facade that Volksfront wants the community to see is in all actuality a thinly veiled white supremacist front. Much like the racism made palatable by David Duke when he ran for senate, other groups have taken his lead, removed the sheets, masks, and stereotypical white supremacist attire for a more palatable and acceptable position to main stream White Americans. Although White Supremacy is a worldwide phenomena, this paper will explore only one group in the liberal pacific Northwest. Using the discourse found on the Volksfront's website, this paper will discuss the history of Volksfront, the collective identity of the group, it's political ideology (proselytized and perceived), and their plans for the future which they call the "Northwest Imperative."
Volksfront asserts that it is a different sort of Euro-American organization because it has shifted from the gang mentality to a more political oriented type group. Membership in Volksfront appears to be modeled after the Italian mafia, and is very secretive. "To join one must be of European descent, and 18 years of age (the age for legal reasons). We do exclude Jews (of course)" Also required for membership is two or three references from known members or organizations. Previous hate crime background may also prove their loyalty. Many reported members and leaders are historical racists with criminal records or previous actions that prove them to be more than just a political or social movement. "We put no value on the words of people who lack the COURAGE OF THEIR CONVICTIONS. Members in the VF and our supporters have always been active here in the Northwest and we will continue to be." Volksfront has a deep rooted history of violence and racism in Oregon. April 2001 was not the first time that Volksfront came into the spotlight of the community or Oregon Police departments. Volksfront was originally founded in October of 1994, and made had supporters of numerous white supremacist groups, such as tghe Youth of Hiter, Aryan Nations supporters, and Eastside White Pride; all skinhead gangs. On the Southern Poverty Law Centers website for active hate groups, Volksfront is considered a neo-Nazi Organization. Numerous groups who fight hatred have listed Volksfront as a hate group. In April of 1998 Holocaust denier David Irving spoke in Vancouver, Washington to "about 45 people-- including well dressed elderly couples, common-law court activists and flight jacketed members of Volksfront". I am not one for fashion, however in numerous pictures from different events, Volksfront gatherings are attended overwhelmingly by flight jacketed attendees. (Flight jackets are and were attire for skinheads). Volksfront proudly claims that the group disbanded in 1997 due to police harassment. In their own words, "Volksfront was accused of racial attacks, street violence, even ouright terrorism" Although gone for a few years, the VF says they are now seasoned, well prepared and ready to take action. All under the facade that they are a legitimate social/political movement and not a National socialist or white supremacist hate group.
In late 1994 VF began it's campaign of hatred and violence. Within a year they had organized a hate rock band called Intimidation One (Oregon hate crime law) that played at the Aryan Nations National congress in 1995. Intimidation One was and still is a skinhead band that glorifies racism, and assaults. In an advertisement found on the VF website, there was a promotion for Intimidation One's "frontline Soldiers" CD. Not long after the Volksfront website was on line (April 2001), Intimidation One had issued a threat addressing all "anti-racists." It asked all anti-racists to go to a link and they would show what would happen to those who might or will oppose them. The link was a connection to a short movie clip of a real person being murdered. The murder was a Bosnian soldier being chased down by two men, who stood on his head while he appeared to be begging for mercy. They taunted him with a knife and stuck it slowly into his neck and proceeded to cut his head off. When the head was severed they held it up as if it were a metal to be proud of. This murder was very similar, however more graphic, than the murder of journalist Daniel Pearl (drudgereport.com) who was killed recently and beheaded on video by Muslim extremists in Pakistan. Another gruesome death to assist in the extremists intimidation of others who oppose their hatred. Although Volksfront denies that they are a terrorist, white supremacist and or a national socialist group, terrorist groups are idolized, invited, and promoted by the Volksfront and their affiliates.
When Volksfront disbanded in 1997 the "literary organ" for VF was Thule Publications. Thule Publications is a webpage dedicated to the Order, founded by Robert J. Matthews. The Order, (AKA; Bruder Schweigen, or Silent Brotherhood) was a group of armed white supremacist revolutionaries operating in the early 1980's, as a white supremacist terrorist group. "In September of 1983 (Matthews) gathered a small group of militant young men for a solemn initiation ritual" (Kaplan). Taking oaths on their children they declared themselves "Aryan warriors" that would defend the white race by any means necessary. Matthews wrote a Declaration of War that Thule publications promotes. In paraphrase:
"It is now a dark and dismal time in the history of our race... Throughout this land our children are being coerced into accepting nonwhites for their idols, their companions, and worst of all their mates... We, from this day forward declare that we no longer consider the regime in Washington to be a valid and lawful representative of all Aryans who refuse to submit to the coercion and subtle tyranny placed upon us by Tel Aviv... We claim a territorial imperative which will consist of the entire North American continent north of Mexico... We now close this declaration with an open letter to congress and our signatures confirming our intent to do battle. Let friend and foe alike be made aware. This is war!... we declare ourselves to be in full and unrelenting state of war with those forces seeking and consciously promoting the destruction of our faith and our race"
The order became an elite group of counterfieters and armored car robbers which enabled them to build a war chest. They were able to purchase weapons, manuals, etc, and provided money throughout the white supremacist movement. In June 1984 radio talkshow host Alan Berg was gunned down and assassinated by Order members. Berg was known to challenge racists on their issues and would bait them to debate. Six months later, on December 8th, 1984, Mathews refused to surrender when surrounded by the FBI and died under fire. Decemeber 8th became Martyrs day amongst National Socialists, racists, and white supremacists.
On December 8th, 2001 Volksfront held a "Martyrs' Day Memorial" for murdered skinhead Erik Banks. In one flyer sent out a picture of a smiling father, Eric banks, holding his child, the captions on the flier read, "Murdered by communists. Erik Banks Memorial Ceremony... No Fighting... Proudly hosted by Volksfront and area activists." (Throughout much of the discourse put out by Volksfront there seems to be many warnings to fellow kinsman that fighting and dissension will not be tolerated. Within the movement itself there appears to be a turf war or inner turmoil, shaking up the movement. Perhaps some want to see more action than others?). All who wanted to attend had to give references or prove they had a history. Months prior to the event Volksfront was monitoring their email and sending out false advertisements of the event and date change to suspected infiltrators, to ward off protests.
Before this campaign started I was sent an e-mail, under an alias, that read, "Kinsman, We are falsely advertising a date change for the memorial to throw off potential protesters, the event is still December the 8th. We will keep you informed of further updates" The event was kept secret, to avoid a counter demonstration, which would allow the community time to organize a correct response to VF. In Volksfront's report on the memorial they titled it "Victory." Volksfront proudly boasts that December 8th was a "Triumph."
Tom Metzger of White Aryan Resistance was the guest speaker for Volksfront's Martyrs Day Memorial. Tom Metzger is known for his racism and proselytization of "Lone Wolf" terrorism (Lone wolf Terrorism refers to an attack strategy were small units or single individuals commit acts of terrorism by sticking to small cells and remaining quite on future plans of attack. The attack on the Oklahoma city federal building, Buford Furrows attack on a Jewish Daycare, Benjamin Nathanal Smiths killing spree, The world Trade Center, and Pentagon Attacks were all attacks of single-cell lone wolfism. Small elite groups who can stop infiltration or single actors committing acts of terror to further their political agenda.). Metzger has quite a history in Oregon. he was tried and found guilty by an Oregon Jury in the beating death of Ethiopian exchange student Mulegeta Seraw. Tom Metzger was fined 12.5 million dollars for incitement, the three men who committed the crime were sent to prison, while Metzger remained free. Tom Metzger vowed to never come to Oregon again. However, after Metzger's visit and speech for the Volksfront, 3 skinhead bands played music for those attending the "memorial." Aggresive Force, Final War, and Intimidation One. Some of the groups that were thanked for their support and attendance were the "Northern Hammer Skinheads," World Church of the Creator, Thule Shirts, and Eastside White Pride.
Does Volksfront hold a different political ideology than other white supremacist groups or do they also share the collective identity that other groups in white supremacist circle share? Volksfront has learned that "Informal networks held together by strong bonds are the 'basic building blocks' of social movements..." and that a "collective identity (Klan, NS, WS, etc) is the shared definition of a group that derives from members common interests, experiences and solidarity" (Morris). For this counter movement to exist, there must be a shared definition of the group as a whole. Looking through much of the discourse you will find that the shared political ideology and collective identity is that of white supremacy, and skinheads.
The Volksfront webpage vociferously declares that they do "not espouse a specific political ideology." Although VF claims to espouse no political ideology, the ideology of the groups and persons it associates with are generally national Socialists skinheads. The political ideology of many of their listed "Prisoners of War" are generally neo-Nazis, or white supremacists who have committed murder or other criminal acts. VF claims that it is dedicated to those and assists those convicted for "political crimes or those incarcerated for actions in service or defense of European Americans." The first listing for "political prisoners" is one of the three skinheads who murdered Mulegeta Seraw: Ken Meiske. (Recently Volksfront was proud to announce that through donations and fundraising they were able to send $155 dollars to Meiske's personal fund). It is easy to notice that many of their POW's are similar to Meiske, in that they were either national socialists, skinheads or white racists who committed crimes against others due to their perceived race, religion, political belief, or sexuality. The crimes committed by these people do not appear to be a crime or "heroic act" that would service or even defend White people. If all white people were to be judged by the actions of their POW's, Whites would be seen as murderers, serial killers, and cowards. Although the VF themselves deny they espouse a political ideology, the ideology espoused by their POW's, history, and collective identity is that of white supremacy, terror, and hatred.
Volksfront maintains six pages of links, and it is easy to notice that all are known openly as racists, neo-Nazis, skinheads and/or some have attempted to hide their racism and make it more palatable. While VF claims to not espouse a specific political ideology their POW's, Martyrs, and links make it easy to be extremely skeptical of the groups political ideology. Some of the groups listed are 88 Music (88 is a symbol representing the 8th letter of the alphabet twice. HH or Heil Hitler), Aryan Internet Web Services, Blood and Honour, Combat 18 (18 representing the letters A.H, or Adolf Hitler), Final War, the National Alliance, Stormfront, and Women for Aryan Unity, to name a few. Other groups who have been thanked or recognized by VF are The Anti-Sems, Jew Slaughter, Lone Wolf, and Hate Crime.
Recently a CD has been released by Volksfront's CD label. The CD is a "benefit" CD for Ken Meiske. On the front is a black and white picture of a skinhead holding the flags of "white" countries. The album is called "Rose City Oi!," and is a compilation of five skinhead bands; Intimidation One, The Eastsiders, Warfare 88, Final War, and Jew Slaughter.
Volksfront also wants to creat a white only homeland, what they have termed the "Northwest Imperative." (VF) The "Northwest imperative" is not a new idea put out by the VF. It is a recycled and modified idea that white supremacists have wanted for decades: An Aryan Homeland in the Northwestern United States. However, VF has modified theirs from the 5 Northwestern states, to include the southern portion of Canada. While this seems laughable to most people, this is a goal white supremacists have always dreamed of; AryanLand!
As of recent Volksfront has been, trying to capitalize on the defeat of the Aryan Nations. VF has sent out emails and posted an article calling for an international congress to be held in Oregon. For over a decade the Aryan Nations in Idaho held a international congress where neo-Nazis, Klansmen, militia groupies, and other white supremacists get together and speak about the movement, and parade in rather weak numbers through the streets of Idaho. If the Volksfront was ever able to organize and execute such a conference we would see increased numbers that could not get to the Aryan Nations remote compound that once stood in Idaho.
Volksfront has also started a Security Database to track "enemy individuals and organizations." They are asking for any info whatsoever to add into the entries the have. "To access the database you must have three references known to us (VF) or established organizations." Persons like myself, and other activists who speak out against this group are given a file number and entered into their database. It is obvious that this information could be used by "lone wolfs" or others to harm activists, this is an attempt to quite dissent or protest against this group. A new Portland hate rock band called Jew Slaughter with direct ties to VF, would have access to files along with many other "associates." In a song directed to strike fear at people who have left white supremacy and those who are considering leaving, Jew Slaughter threatens in song:
You say you used to be a skinhead
and stood so proud and true
walkin the streets with your head held high
as you battled against the jew
but now you say you've changed your ways
you say you've seen the light
Say you realized your ways were wrong
and you must set them right
Your a conformist a feeble minded fool
hung up your boots to join the zionist rule
your time will come like every traitors will
just another number on our list of ones to kill
In conclusion, with the current war on terror, what has to happen to get the government to start looking domestically at sources that lead others to act in extreme hatred of their fellow American Citizens. Much like our declared enemies of Al Qaeda, white supremacist groups have declared war on America. They have murdered our people, assassinated opposition, funded and supplied materials to terrorists, bombed our churches and synagogues and places of worship denigrated, attacked our federal government (employees, and their children), and have a deep stench filled history of intimidation, violence and terrorism. If they had the same funding and means similar to Al Qaeda, what would stop them from attacking.
Volksfront, while they state they do not espouse a particular ideology, the ideology is appearant. Through their martyrs, Prisoners of War and groups they affiliate with the political ideology of Volksfront is an ideology and history of national socialism, white supremacy, intimidation, and terror. They have already declared war, how much clearer do they need to be.
Volksfront saw their secretive gathering as a victory and triumph because there were no protesters. I am confident that the people of Oregon will not tolerate ideals similar to the terrorists who attacked our country. The Oregon community needs to come together and organize a correct response; to let Volksfront and it's members know that they are not victorious, not triumphant, and not welcome in the state of Oregon.
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