After they held this year’s “Leif Erickson Day Celebration” supporters posted a picture of the assembled attendees in the park at night – the time a departure from other Leif Erickson Day events that sponsors Keystone State “Skinheads” (KSS) held in the past – that showed the Thorfinn Karlsefni statue untouched by the red paint that it was adorned with Saturday morning when antifa came out in the hopes they would meet the neo-Nazis there. This was followed by pictures that KSS themselves put out with the same group around the statue at the same time, only in these pictures the red paint was visible.
Originally, it was believed that the first picture indicated that KSS held their event to held the night before and sometime during the night the statue, along with the gazebo and road in the adjacent Fairmount Park, were tagged by unknown persons. When others looked at that photograph a little closer, it was determined that the paintless statue appeared to be a doctored creation.
It is not known why the picture was touched in such a way, but it adds to an embarrassment for KSS that antifa have been ridiculing the group ever since this latest stunt to avoid opposing groups like the ones that greeted them in their 2013 outing. Over the past year KSS has been particularly dormant in Philadelphia, notably in regards to public activity, and to date the only mention of this year’s Leif Erickson event has been a post on their website critical of the statue being tagged and accusing antifa of the act. American Freedom Party’s Robert De Pasquale, who attended the event, posted pictures he had taken of the statue on the neo-Nazi discussion board Stormfront under his “BoyHowdy” moniker, but nothing more was said of the neo-Nazis’ activities on that day.
In their reportback, Antifa Philadelphia took notice of the weakened state of KSS further by noting that there was just more than just a false start time that made the group look bad. “Look, we realize that this was a deliberate ploy by KSS to feed us misinformation so that they could hold their little nighttime demo to an audience of none without Antifascist opposition,” they wrote. “What we don’t understand is why KSS could possibly think that proves anything other than Philly Antifa has lots of local supporters willing to mobilize on unconfirmed intel with a few days’ notice to keep their city an Anti-Fascist zone…This crowd was at least 90% Philly people, with some support coming in from NJ and NYC Antifa. When we look at the pic from the KSS demo, we see people from all over PA, Indiana, Ohio and probably a handful of other places. Could it be any clearer that Philly KSS is just a couple guys and an e-mail address at this point?
“Hell, we remember when these guys were going to counter Mumia demos and attacking Rambo shows,” the reportback continued, referring to a 2004 brawl at a Philadelphia show by the punk band Rambo that KSS instigated. Now you can’t even directly meet us with an advantage of months of planning and support coming from hundreds of miles away. They can bluster and brag all they want, but that has to hurt.”