Rose City Antifa has combined educational events with "out-ing" campaigns to shed light on neo-Nazi organizing and the activists behind it in Portland. On April 24, we hosted a panel discussion entitled "The White Power Movement on the West Coast: What It Is and How We Can Respond" that was attended by over 130 people, many concerned by the shooting of Portland anti-racist Luke Querner in March. (See our statement on the shooting at: http://rosecityantifa.org/1/post/2010/04/local-anti-racist-shot-in-downtown-portland.html)
In early July, our organization published the home address and listed the neo-Nazi activities of Blood and Honour American Division activist Jeffrey Jay Thomas, who is also connected to the National Socialist Movement (NSM) in Portland. Three weeks later, our organization hosted the 16th Annual Anti-Racist Action Network Conference that was attended by hundreds over the course of the weekend. We closed off the month by revealing leading NSM activist Corinna Luray Burt as having appeared on numerous pornographic DVDs and websites, an embarrassment for the white power movement that denounces pornography as a Jewish plot. Our organization also co-sponsored a successful rally in Portland as part of an international Call to Action Against Racism and Fascism on July 31, which ended with a surprise appearance outside of neo-Nazi activist Jay Thomas' residence. (See report backs from participants in the Call to Action at: july31antifa.blogspot.com)
Now, we would like to bring your attention to Chaseton Dale Word, a neo-Nazi activist who is the Portland leader of the Northwest Front, a white supremacist organization based in our region. Chase Word seems to overestimate his ability to organize in secrecy, giving out privacy advice and composing a "tutorial for meeting new contacts" securely while doing white power organizing. None of this advice made it hard for us to track him down. The same day as the Call to Action rally in downtown Portland, our organization mailed out over 100 flyers to residents near Word's home at the Rosemont Oxford House, 6730 North Kerby Avenue, warning them about their neo-Nazi neighbor.
The Northwest Front began drawing attention to itself during September and October, 2009. During this time, Northwest Front stickers and flyers surfaced on and around North Killingsworth Avenue, near the Portland Community College Cascade campus. This area is a historically multi-racial and diverse one; flyers were promptly torn down or defaced by community members who then alerted us about this propaganda. Additionally, from 12-13 September a neo-Nazi campout took place in Vancouver, Washington; its key organizers were exposed shortly afterwards by Rose City Antifa. The gathering was advertised on the "Northwest Imperative" Facebook page, a Northwest Front project. The operator of this Facebook page, Jeff Hughes, was shot and killed by the RCMP on Vancouver Island, Canada, on October 23, 2009, after police responded to an early morning noise complaint--the exact circumstances of the police shooting remain murky, but Hughes has since been hailed as a martyr by the Northwest Front.
The Northwest Front is an organization aiming towards "the establishment of an independent and sovereign republic in the Pacific Northwest, wherein only White persons shall reside or hold citizenship." While its main website and separate social networking site both portray the Northwest Front with images of smiling white families instead of swastikas everywhere, the project is in essence a hardcore neo-Nazi effort. The Northwest Front is the brainchild of Harold Covington, who has over three decades of experience on the extreme Right, and who wrote the "Northwest Novels" about a white secessionist revolution in the Pacific Northwest that serves as inspiration for the Front. Covington was involved with the United Racist Front--comprising of Klansmen and neo-Nazis--that carried out the Greensboro Massacre of left-wing anti-racists in North Carolina during 1979. (Covington was not tried for criminal charges surrounding the murders.) Covington was also involved with Combat 18 (18 being alphanumeric code for AH, short for Adolf Hitler), a group that promoted Aryan political terrorism, and for which Covington provided a PO Box in the USA through which correspondence was forwarded back to Europe. Covington has a large number of foes on within the neo-Nazi scene in North America, and rumors of him being in the pay of law enforcement have been swirling around for decades.
The idea of a white homeland in the Pacific Northwest is not new. During the 1980s, the idea of a Northwest Territorial Imperative consisting of Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana and Wyoming was heavily promoted by the Aryan Nations and other neo-Nazi groups. The Territorial Imperative was a central goal of the Silent Brotherhood/The Order terrorist group that was based in these states during its 1983-1984 campaign of counterfeiting, bank robbery, bombings and murder. The Northwest Front, behind its "green" and smiling white family imagery, attempts to link itself to the mythology that has sprung up around The Order in the white supremacist underground. The Northwest Front makes use of other allusions while marketing its ideology; for example, its blue, white and green tricolor is a nod to Cascadian nationalism.
In the 1990s, Covington moved to Seattle, Washington, and attempted to revive the "Territorial Imperative" project from there. (Covington was operating the National Socialist White People's Party at the time.) Covington has moved around since then, and currently gives his location as Astoria, Oregon. The first of his Northwest Novels was published through print-per-order in 2003. Covington has given many names to his Northwest endeavors in recent years, but finally seems to have gotten serious about turning the Northwest Front from a fictional entity into a viable Front during late 2008-early 2009.
The main leader in Portland for Covington's operation is Chaseton Word, who seems to enjoy the grandeur of the Northwest homeland project. As well as flyering activities and a steady internet presence, Word likes to surround himself with terrorist imagery and materials, something that concerns our organization due to the propensity of modern neo-Nazis to descent into "lone wolf" tactics of desperate and extreme violence, something that Covington himself does little to discourage. Word has offered to send a .pdf file of writings by the deceased Order terrorist David Lane to any white nationalist who is interested. Additionally, Word's profile on the white supremacist Newsaxon site declares that "I ASPIRE TO THE PHINEAS PRIESTHOOD!!" The Phineas Priesthood is a concept developed in Richard Kelly Hoskins' book Vigilantes of Christendom, to describe terrorist retribution against those perceived as enemies of the white race. The Phineas concept is popular in Christian Identity circles (racist "Christians" that believe that people of color are subhuman "mud races," that Jesus was an Anglo-Saxon, and that Jewish people are Satanic). Proponents of the Phineas Priesthood concept have been linked to bank robberies, bombings and murder. Paul Hill, who murdered an abortion provider and his escort in 1994, himself had argued for "Phineas actions."
While Word's political persona insists on glamorizing extreme acts of violence, his own life appears seedy. Word lives in addiction recovery housing having amassed a long string of convictions for methamphetamine possession, forgery, unauthorized use of a vehicle and other charges. While white power activists claim to work "Because the Beauty of the White Aryan Woman must not perish from the Earth" (a popular movement slogan), Word's own behavior towards women is abusive. A restraining order against him claims that he pushed an ex-girlfriend's face into a wall, threw her to the ground, punched her in the face breaking her nose, and grabbed her around the neck, all in separate incidents. The restraining order also notes that Word "keeps track of everything I do [... ] he keeps track of ex-girlfriends." The mythology that the supremacist movement creates about white manhood seems to rarely match with reality. Like so many others in the neo-Nazi scene, Word's double standards are matched only by his vehemence. We believe that his attempts to stoke racial conflict, and his ability to explode into violence, should be of concern to the community.
Rose City Antifa is always interested in information regarding racist, fascist and neo-Nazi activity in Portland and throughout the Pacific Northwest. Our voicemail number is (971) 533 7832. You may also email fight_them_back [at] riseup [dot] net.