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Saturday “Hammerskin Nation” Neo-Nazi Event Gets Cut Short

Thanks to their eyes and ears in Portland and beyond, anti-fascists were able to release information about the location of a white supremacist gathering held on Saturday, October 6 in the greater Portland area, leading to the cancellation of its venue. White supremacists associated with the Hammerskin Nation, a neo-Nazi organization, had rented the Sherwood Elks Lodge (22770 SW Elwert Rd., Sherwood, OR) under false pretexts, for use in its twentieth-anniversary celebration, scheduled for October 5 - 7. Around three hours after receiving information about the true nature of the event being held on their premises, the Elks Club pulled the Saturday venue, denying use of their space to fascist organizers. Approximately 70 - 100 hardcore white supremacists were at the venue at the time of cancellation.
Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism

For Immediate Release: 10/8/07

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

Saturday "Hammerskin Nation" Neo-Nazi Event Gets Cut Short
Anti-racists Reveal White Supremacist Gathering, Leading to Event Cancellation

Portland, Oregon - Thanks to their eyes and ears in Portland and beyond, anti-fascists were able to release information about the location of a white supremacist gathering held on Saturday, October 6 in the greater Portland area, leading to the cancellation of its venue. White supremacists associated with the Hammerskin Nation, a neo-Nazi organization, had rented the Sherwood Elks Lodge (22770 SW Elwert Rd., Sherwood, OR) under false pretexts, for use in its twentieth-anniversary celebration, scheduled for October 5 - 7. Around three hours after receiving information about the true nature of the event being held on their premises, the Elks Club pulled the Saturday venue, denying use of their space to fascist organizers. Approximately 70 - 100 hardcore white supremacists were at the venue at the time of cancellation. Chatter on racist bulletin boards suggests that other bigots had already cancelled their travel plans in earlier weeks, due to concerns about anti-fascist responses. Despite their earlier talk of a comprehensive "action plan" for the weekend, regional law enforcement showed no signs of having developed viable information about the racist gathering's location.

The October 5 - 7 "Hammerfest" neo-Nazi gathering had been planned by the "Hammerskin Nation" racist organization. The Hammerskins began their organized activity in 1987, when they were known as the Confederate Hammerskins, a violent and racist skinhead grouping 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 Hammerskin Nation organized their "Hammerfest" national gathering in conjunction with Volksfront, a Portland-led white supremacist group linked to two of the killers of Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw in 1988. Similar to the Hammerskins, Volksfront has chapters throughout North America and also on other continents.

Acting on information from verified but anonymous sources, the Ad Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism contacted the Sherwood Elks Lodge shortly after 4PM on Saturday, October 6. At that time, the Elks booking manager expressed disbelief that there was a neo-Nazi gathering being held on the premises, insisting that only an innocent rock show was taking place. The Committee then released its information to the public and the media, requesting that phone calls be made to the venue urging cancellation of the neo-Nazi event. Elks members, some of whom were present at the venue, subsequently realized what was going on and did the right thing.

The Ad-Hoc Committee Against Racism and Fascism also brought approximately 250 people together for a public rally from 1-3PM at Lents Park (SE 92nd & Steele) on the same Saturday. The Lents Park "Nazis Not Welcome, Unite Against Racism" community gathering featured diverse voices connecting the Hammerskin Nation event to broader problems of bigotry and institutionalized oppression. All those present expressed a commitment to undermining neo-Nazi organizing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

The Ad-Hoc Committee realizes that the Hammerskins and their ilk have at times been deceptive when booking events or when obtaining resources. We also want to note that any number of hotels, venues, civic organizations and businesses may have knowingly or unknowingly profited from "Hammerfest" this year. We believe that institutions in this city need to take responsibility for informing themselves about white supremacist and neo-Nazi organizing in the region. The Ad-Hoc Committee also believes that any businesses that profited from the racist gathering should now take appropriate measures. We urge written accounts of white supremacist movements in the city to be submitted to us by email. We also believe that any profits drawn from the neo-Nazi event—either by accident or through turning a blind eye—should now be redirected to groups combating white supremacy. We recommend either the Center for New Community (www.newcomm.org/) or the One People's Project (www.onepeoplesproject.com/) for donations.

Founded this September, the Ad-Hoc Committee is dedicated to monitoring and opposing white supremacist groupings in Portland and beyond. 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.

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phone: phone: 971.285.4688 (v.m.)