The Proud Boys tried to give people crap in Nashua, NH a few weeks ago at the last school board meeting but the comical ‘Nationalist Social Club’ tried to give it a go this week. It was just sad.
NASHUA, NH – After Proud Boys harassed residents last month during a school board meeting that discussed the issue of Critical Race Theory being taught in schools, some called for support from other communities against the neo-fascist group when the next meeting was held on Monday Aug. 9. On that day, Proud Boys were not as visible as they were two weeks prior, but instead, a local, miniscule neo-nazi group that has stood with Proud Boys in the past marched on the meeting in their place.
Approximately one hour after the school board meeting began, and after counter activists had largely believed there to be no white supremacist/Proud Boy threat coming against the meeting and began to dissolve, police reinforcements suddenly showed in the parking lot. Moments later, from a parking lot around the side of the building away from the main doors and gathered community members and activists, a paltry eleven members of the Nationalist Social Club (NSC) marched, with police ahead of them with shouts of “Jews will not replace us!”
Formed in Dec. 2019 as the New England Nationalists Club and led by Chris Hood, the NSC is an organization primarily based in New England that believe they are at war with Jews plotting the extinction of the White race soldiers at war with a hostile, Jewish-controlled system that is deliberately plotting the extinction of the white race. They have been seen in the past alongside Proud Boys and other groups at rallies held in Boston by the neo-fascist group Super Happy Fun America.
Largely outnumbering the NSC, activists swiftly rushed to prevent the Nazi formation from reaching the front of the school, but the two sides were divided by a police line. NSC then took up stance directly facing the school, and attempted to speak through a bullhorn for two hours, drowned out entirely by counter protestors who mocked, ridiculed and identified some by name, notably Hood, Liam MacNeil and Ryan Roy who is known for getting fired from a pizza parlor after attending the tragic Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, VA four years ago. The group still had its supporters in town, however. A locally well known anti-vax activist, Frank Staples of Nashua, who in March was arrested along with two others for posting anti-vaccination stickers on Nashua City Hall doors and other property, thanked the Nazis and stood with them, shouting alongside them against community members and counter protestors. Others stood alongside the Nazis with anti trans and anti-vax signs, and also had a small community circle with individual Nazis. One man walked up and shook each Nazi by hand, and then had a private meeting with police away from the protest, with a flyer from the group in his hand.
The Nazi march came not only in the middle of the school board meeting, but during a well-attended football game. One irate parent rushed over from the football game and demanded the Nazis leave, and joined protestors in imploring the Nashua police to remove the Nazi organization’s presence from school grounds. Instead, Nashua police continued to allow the Nazis to cross over to the counter protestor’s side, and force counter protestors to stay on their side under threat of arrest. Reinforcement police informed Black Lives Matter Nashua that police were prepared and ready to arrest any protestors still on high school grounds for trespassing once the school board meeting was over. Reportedly, police did not similarly warn the Nazis.
White supremacist issues are not new to Nashua, but became a direct open threat beginning this spring with a “White Lives Matter” demonstration that suddenly took place on May 8 in front of the Nashua City Hall. Images posted to the Nationalist Social Club NSC Telegram chats show members holding a “White Lives Matter” banner and torches.
Shortly thereafter, anti-Semitic and racist graffiti was discovered in downtown Nashua, the more racially diverse part of town. Graffiti included “Keep New England White,” “Death to Israel,” and “Defend New England” stencils, and stickers from the NSC, prompting responses from local officials. New Hampshire State Representative Manny Espitia stated publicly on his social media: “Don’t ever tell me racism doesn’t exist in NH.” NSC promptly responded back with direct threats to Rep. Espitia, who is of Hispanic descent. “Manny Espitia – for the duration of your stay here you’ll come to find the Granite State is EXTREMELY racist,” the group posted on their telegram. “Anyone with a name like ‘Manny Espitia’, State Rep or not, has no moral right to throw shade at any true (White) Nationalist New Hampshirite. You have no right to be here, you’re an occupier here and the days of these types trampling on New England are coming to an end.” (https://www.wmur.com/article/nh-state-representative-targeted-in-racist-threat-online/36506477#)
Monday’s display by the NSC prompted the New Hampshire Proud Boys to seize upon the opportunity to paint themselves as an anti-racist alternative to the neo-Nazis, despite holding a similar rally at the July 28 school board meeting. “It is crystal clear that 131NS have inexcusably botched the necessary framework to combat racism,” the neo-fascist group posted on their Telegram account, referencing neo-Nazis by a neo-Nazi code that combines the numeric code 131 – which translates to ACA, or Anti-Communist Action with the initials for National Socialist. “The Proud Boys of NH believe every person should be judged on the content of their character, not the color of their skin. It is imperative that New Englanders bear witness to authentic resistance to any and all tyranny.” In a promotional video produced this week, the NSC targeted the Proud Boys saying “It is crystal clear that the NH Proud Boys have inexcusably botched the necessary framework to combat anti-whiteness. It is imperative that New Englanders bear witness to authentic resistance to this anti-White tyranny. It is unclear if this was a response to the Proud Boys or if the Proud Boys were responding to the NSC.
Over the summer, fear mongering campaigns based on untruths about Critical Race Theory (CRT) and efforts to combat Covid-19 have increased and undeserved volatility against teachers, administrators, and school boards across the country. What began as a mostly parent-based school board issue has devolved into a battleground between medical officials in the community, staff, anti-vax campaigns, and neo-fascists, who began attending the monthly meetings and harassing opposing residents. Proud Boys members, of which one has proclaimed to be a Nashua local, have also been accused of following, threatening, and intimidating school board members, according to a post from July 28 asking for activist and community help to stop their harassment from Black Lives Matter Nashua, a regular target of local white supremacists.
Critical Race Theory is the study of how law has been used to advance racist institutions throughout history, but in recent months that definition has been skewed to demonize the teaching about the roles Black people and other persons of color contributed to the history of societies, in particular in American history. The anti-CRT campaign has its roots within a right wing think tank called the Manhattan Institute, which since its founding in 1977 by British billionaire Anthony Fisher and former CIA Director William Casey maintained a goal that speaks directly to the concerns that CRT addresses: to apply the principles of the market economy to social problems. According to author Paul Labarique, this means dismantling the advances of the civil rights movement, and relocating African-Americans and poor people out of the big cities. In the past, the group has promoted eugenics via the book The Bell Curve, co-authored by Manhattan Institute senior fellow Charles Murray, which argued that Black people were intellectually inferior to Whites. Conservative propagandist Christopher Rufo, who became a senior fellow for the Manhattan Institute in April, posted in a March 13 tweet that it was his intention to skew CRT’s definition. “The goal is to have the public read something crazy in the newspaper and immediately think ‘critical race theory.’ We have decodified the term and will recodify it to annex the entire range of cultural constructions that are unpopular with Americans.”
The next Nashua School Board meeting is on Aug. 30.