30 people? Seriously? This is what makes for some grand unity fest for the National Socialist Movement & Co.?
HARRISBURG, PA – Despite the attempted promotion of unity on their part, Saturday’s rally held by neo-Nazis at the Pennsylvania State House looked particularly diminished from past outings by the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the main organizer for this event.
Held during the final weekend before Election Day, about 30 ralliers, many coming from various Klan groups Aryan Strikeforce (ASF) and the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP), stood on the State House steps behind a phalanx of police officers to announce that they are joining under a coalition organization called the Nationalist Front. This is a rebranding of sorts, as in April the same groups held an event in Georgia declaring themselves to be the Aryan Nationalist Alliance. One difference is the NSM and TWP are co-leading the group, and with that is a more of an effort to be commercially palatable. The flags for the new group featured the Othala Rune as opposed to the swastika. At one point, the neo-Nazis unfurled a banner urging “President Trump” to “Build the Wall”, recalling Republican Presidential Nominee Donald Trump’s regular campaign mantra.
The speeches being made from the State House steps by TWP’s Matthew Heimbach, NSM’s Jeff Schoep and others were inaudible to the hundreds of counterprotesters across the street as drums, horns and chants drowned out the significantly smaller group. Many of them represented several antifascist and labor groups as well as the local community. In addition, there were some individuals that represented the kind of bigotry being opposed that walked among the counterprotesters. At one point a man clad in a T-shirt with the slogan “Proud Infidel! Fuck Muslims!” got into a scuffle with some of them and left the group only to be seen later in downtown Harrisburg with the shirt in tatters and police protecting him. Members and associates of the neo-Nazi Keystone United, who have in the past have been at odds with the NSM but are close associates of the TWP, were also among the crowd but left early into the rally. Still some fascists remained within the crowd, such as Harrisburg residentEric Starr, who reportedly argued with counterprotesters during the rally.
The rally ended promptly at 4PM.