Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Nazi Takeover In North Dakota?


Leith, North Dakota is on the map. Actually it isn't literally on the map, just in the news. The town was founded in 1910 along a railroad line that was abandoned in 1984. Since there were no highways going through Leith it started losing population. At its height in the 1930s there were 174 people. Today there are 24. It's in Grant County (pop.- 2,394), named for Ulysses S. Grant. Last year Grant County gave Romney 1,012 votes (73%). It also went for defeated Republican Senate candidate Rick Berg by 61% (842) and for winning Republican House candidate Kevin Cramer by 65% (912). It's a safely red county.

Leith is in the news this week because the city is fighting for its survival. Last year a virulent racist and publicity-hound Craig Cobb started buying up land in the town and moved in. He owns a dozen plots besides the one he lives on and has declared that he plans to turn the city into a bastion of white nationalism named Cobbsville. He's already given a plot to Nazi and exterminationist anti-Semite Alex Linder of the Vanguard News Network and to KKK former Grand Wizard Tom Metzger. Cobb has said he wants to gift plots to David Duke and to the Greek Nazi Party, Golden Dawn. Cobb says he wants to get a majority of voters so he can take over the town and other racists and right-wing misfits have already moved in. "I only need 17 people," said Cobb, who's house has no running water. "You have to have a majority to win an election. If we get 22 we've got a landslide." Leith is fighting back-- establishing a legal defense fund and inviting anti-racism supporters from across the state to demonstrate against the Nazis.
Lee Cook, a Leith City Council member, said his community of 24 needs all the help it can get, not only financially but in moral support from people across the state.

He said the town has felt alone and vulnerable ever since Craig Cobb, 61, purchased property in town with plans to turn Leith into a white supremacist community and control local government.

Cobb’s plans were made public by the Tribune last month. Since then, things elevated with plans by the commander of the largest pro-white group in the country to be in Leith on Sunday and Monday.

Jeff Schoep of Detroit said he’s coming to hold a town hall meeting at 3 p.m. Sunday and to protect Cobb from being ousted.

Since it all started, Cook said Leith has heard a deafening silence from Grant County officials, local legislators and the Capitol.

“We need people from across the state to come alongside of us and show support that they don’t believe in what this guy is doing,” Cook said. “There are a lot of people who could speak up. It’s not tricky. Silence, to me, means that whatever he’s doing is OK,” he said.

There is one small group-- UnityND-- that formed in protest to the proposed extremist, neo-Nazi takeover.

Jeremy Kelly of Bismarck said he and other organizers are hoping people will join them Sunday afternoon for a peaceful show of solidarity with Leith.

He said a bus will be loaded up at 1:30 p.m. at the Stamart Truck Stop off Interstate 94, Exit 161, or people can caravan from there.

“We cannot accept this racist hatred they are bringing here. Leith is in a crisis and is crying out for help,” Kelly said. “We need to show the Nazis that they are absolutely not wanted there.”

Cook said all of North Dakota should be paying attention, since Cobb said he’s trying to buy property in other locations.
Hundreds showed up for the protest Sunday.
UnityND, a group that formed in protest to the proposed extremist, neo-Nazi takeover, reported at around 2 p.m. that a caravan of protesters was on its way, including at least 25 cars, a bus and a van. “Plus more coming from the Tribes,” the site tweeted. Live streaming by Unedited Media showed what looked like several hundred people participating in the protest that began around 3 p.m.

...Various protest speakers took the mike and denounced the neo-Nazis peacefully, but emphatically. “We want the Nazis to know this is not a one day protest. We’ll be watching everything you do.” The protestors chanted, “No Nazis, no KKK!” A World War II Veteran said, “Let these creepy Nazi-Ku Klux people get out.” “Hey, hey! Ho ho! These Nazis have got to go!” the protesters chanted. “Our grandmothers will stand up to you! Our women will take you on!” one speaker said. “This is not your land. This is my land and you can go back home.” “On behalf of everybody here I’d like to say, go home.” “Go home, go home!” the crowd chanted. “Go back to Germany!” one protester said, but another replied that Germany would not have them. “They have laws against Nazis in Germany.” Some of the speakers eloquently rejected the hatred that Nazism represents. “I’m here to tell you we’ve evolved. We do not hate white people. You come here and think you can exploit the ignorance of our own people, you think that we’re going to react out of fear or a place in our hearts that wants to do you harm, but we won’t do that…We are evolved human beings and we think you know you people are a dying cause.”

At around 4 p.m. many of the protesters moved into Leith town hall for the neo-Nazi press conference while bagpipe music played incongruously in the background. When Cobb entered the hall the protesters booed loudly. Many of the protesters left the town hall when one of the neo-Nazis on stage began a speech. Those who remained listened politely.

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