Feathered Bastard

NSM (National Socialist Movement) Neo-Nazis to Rally at Arizona State Capitol November 7

MSNBC footage of NSMers in St. Louis: A preview of November 7?

National Socialist Movement Commander Jeff Schoep wants to put 200 to 300 neo-Nazis on the lawn of the Arizona state Capitol for an NSM-sponsored, anti-immigration "America First" rally this November 7.

In reality, NSM'd be lucky to pull anywhere close to 50 goosesteppers. When NSMers marched in April in St. Louis, Missouri to celebrate their 35th anniversary, they totaled about 100, many showing off shaved heads, wearing black combat gear, and proudly flipping sieg heils.

One hundred losers like that at a march is fairly significant by neo-Nazi standards. But that's in the Midwest, where NSM has traditionally been its strongest. The idea that the NSM could command triple that amount in Phoenix is outright laughable.

So far, the NSM has yet to show the Arizona Legislative Council, the state office that approves or denies requests for the use of the legislative lawns (for the state House and Senate, respectively), that the NSM has acquired the necessary insurance. Also, correspondence to NSM contact Charles Wilson at the NSM's post office box in Detroit, Michigan (the same address as on the NSM's Web site) has been returned by the postal service because of a poor address.

Maybe someone forgot to pay their p.o. box bill.

Nevertheless, the NSM is promoting the racist hoedown on it site, in language that's no doubt agreeable to many local nativists -- groups such as United for a Sovereign America and others.

"Arizona is on the frontlines of the fight against illegal immigration," reads an NSM press release, "and the large parades/marches of illegals and their supporters must be countered by the Patriotic citizens of Arizona. The NSM will be there, along with everyone we can gather to send a strong message to the State that they must put an end to the illegal alien onslaught of our Nation."

NSM offers an "open invitation" to all those in agreement with the NSM's rid-the-nation-of -illegals-policy. It'll be interesting to see if any local, non-Nazi, Latino-hatin' yokels show up to the supremacist shin-dig. Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready -- the Ernst Rohm of the East Valley -- will no doubt be in attendance. Perhaps he could lead the pack of stormtroopers in a rousing rendition of "Kumbaya."

According to the paperwork NSM filed with the legislative council's office at the beginning of August, the event itself is scheduled to last anywhere from 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. A "Victor Jeffcoat" signed on behalf of the NSM. That name has been associated with NSM activity in Texas.

The paperwork states that NSM's request has been "approved with stipulation": i.e., NSM must show a certificate of insurance 10 days prior to the event; and NSM must talk to the Arizona Capitol Police regarding the fascist festivities. Alan Ecker at the Arizona Department of Administration, of which the Capitol Police is a part, told me that the Capitol Police were in contact with the Phoenix PD, and the Phoenix PD's spoken with the event's organizers.

Interestingly, a competing event application filled out by Thomas Coletto, the former NSM member who has since renounced neo-Nazi-ism, is still in effect for the same day. (The application goes back to way before Coletto left the NSM.) Mike Braun at the legislative council's office told me that if Coletto wanted to show up and hold his own rally, he could, though it seems unlikely -- hated as he is by his former NSM comrades -- that Coletto would go anywhere near the Capitol on November 7.

One thought is intriguing -- the faint possibility of Coletto leading an anti-Nazi march backed by anti-racists in town, and going head-to-head with NSM blackshirts on the legislative lawn. (Coletto is the guy who was famously photographed with Sheriff Joe Arpaio several months back, when he was still a neo-Nazi.) I haven't heard from him in a few weeks now, though I'd like to know what his plans are for November 7.

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons