Police in multiple US cities are reportedly preparing for and anticipating white supremacist rallies this weekend

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Police officers on October 27, 2020 in Washington, DC.

  • Police forces are aware of and preparing for white supremacist rallies happening this weekend.
  • Organizers have largely kept secret rally locations, but New York and Chicago are among the cities expected to see them.
  • Several counterprotests have been planned to mobilize against the message of the white pride rally attendees.
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Police forces across the country are reportedly preparing for white supremacist rallies planned for this weekend.

White supremacist groups are organizing the rallies over encrypted messaging app Telegram, Newsweek first reported. There are also public event pages on Facebook suggesting there will be several rallies on Sunday, April 11.

“Patriots all over this nation are peacefully marching to raise awareness for whites being victims of massive interracial crime and also persecution by the government,” one Facebook event page reads.

“This is happening in every majority white nation on earth. Time to make a stand. Please join your brothers and sisters in this amazing event,” the event description continues.

Organizers have, for the most part, not disclosed the locations planned for these rallies. But Newsweek and local news outlets reported that police have identified numerous cities where the white supremacist rallies are expected. Among them are New York, Fort Worth, and Chicago.

The Facebook event page encourages people to organize a rally in their own city.

It’s unclear how many people these planned rallies will attract.

But officials who are aware of planned rallies this weekend in their cities are taking steps to prepare, news outlets reported.

Huntington Beach police in California, for example, are aware of an event to “unify White people against white hate” circulating on social media and planned for this Sunday.

Interim Police Chief Julian Harvey told the San Bernardino Sun that the police are preparing for large crowds in case the rally attracts a lot of people.

“Like any demonstration in the city, we are preparing and will continue to prepare until the day,” he said. “We do have a plan to ensure public safety – not just the safety of the participants and the attendees, but also residents, businesses and motorists.”

The Asheville Police Department in North Carolina told Newsweek its officers have been briefed on the “call for action around the country” coming from white supremacists. The department is tracking any action, Newsweek reported.

In response to the planned rallies, counterprotesters have also begun to organize.

The local Black Lives Matter chapter in Huntington Beach, for example, is assembling for a counterprotest a few hours ahead of the planned white supremacist rally, the San Bernardino Sun reported.

And in Albuquerque, New Mexico, counterprotesters are encouraging residents to “rally against white supremacy in all its forms.”

“On Sunday, April 11th – local Proud Boys and White Supremacists are planning on hosting a ‘White Lives Matter’ Event on the Albuquerque Civic Plaza alongside a national day of actions by far-right extremists across the United States – we refuse to let them bring their violence to our beautifully diverse city because white supremacy has no place here,” a Facebook event page for the counterprotest reads.

“Please wear your masks, bring creative signs, water, plan on being loud, and bring your friends – we have safety in numbers,” the page says.

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US intelligence report says white supremacists have ‘traveled abroad to network with like-minded individuals’

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White supremacists in Emancipation Park prior to the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, August 12, 2017.

  • A US intelligence assessment says white supremacists pose a transnational threat.
  • The threat assessment says some of these groups have traveled abroad to network.
  • The threat of domestic violent extremism has been given increased focus since the Capitol attack.
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White supremacists have the “most persistent and concerning transnational connections” of any violent domestic extremist group in the US, according to an unclassified summary of a joint threat assessment released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Wednesday.

The assessment said this is because individuals with similar ideological beliefs exist outside of the US, and such groups “frequently communicate with and seek to influence each other.”

“We assess that a small number of US [racially or ethnically motivated violent extremists] have traveled abroad to network with like-minded individuals,” the report added.

The assessment of the national security threat posed by domestic violent extremism was ordered by the White House in January and produced by the ODNI as well as the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

The transnational links between white supremacist groups, fueled in part by social media, have been a growing concern for US officials and extremism watchdogs in recent years.

“The danger of terrorism is growing in the United States, just as it is elsewhere in the world, with white supremacist extremists strengthening transnational networks and even imitating the tactics, techniques, and procedures of groups like al-Qaeda and the Islamic State,” a 2019 report from the Soufan Center states.

Law enforcement in the US and the intelligence community have been ringing alarm bells on the threat of domestic extremism, particularly as it pertains to the far right, for years. The Capitol attack on January 6 pushed this topic to the forefront of the nation’s attention, and it’s increasingly at the center of conversations surrounding national security.

The assessment released by the ODNI on Wednesday said racially motivated extremists and militia extremists pose the most lethal domestic terror threat, while warning domestic violent extremism presents an “elevated threat” to the homeland in 2021.

Homeland Security chief Alejandro Mayorkas on Wednesday told congressional lawmakers domestic violent extremism is the “greatest threat” to the US.

“Right now, at this point in time, domestic violent extremism, the lone wolf, the loose affiliation of individuals following ideologies of hate and other ideologies of extremism that are willing and able to take those ideologies and execute on them in unlawful, illegal, violent ways is our greatest threat in the homeland right now,” Mayorkas said.

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PayPal suspends account of neo-Nazi who was using the site to sell hate speech

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PayPal suspended a neo-Nazi user after anti-fascist activists noted he was selling books using the company’s service.

An avowed white supremacist will have to find another way to sell his racist tracts after PayPal suspended his account on Tuesday.

Billy Roper is a third-generation white supremacist, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center; his father and grandfather were both members of the Ku Klux Klan. The SPLC describes Roper, based in Arkansas, as “the uncensored voice of violent neo-Nazism.”

“I’m a biological racist,” he said in a 2003 essay published in a neo-Nazi newsletter, per the SPLC. “Every non-white on the planet has to become extinct,” he added in a 2005 radio interview. He also praised the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, admiring the “testicular fortitude” of al-Qaeda.

Though his views were well-documented, Roper was until this week selling his latest collection of hate speech, purporting to be a guide to surviving “the future breakup of America” into racial enclaves, on his own website, where he was accepting credit cards through PayPal – after Amazon and other online retailers had the 126-page screed removed from their platforms.

“We regularly assess activity against our Acceptable Use Policy and carefully review actions reported to us, and will discontinue our relationship with account holders who are found to violate our policy,” a company spokesperson said after Insider asked about his use of the service. PayPal’s policy states that users may not promote “hate, violence, racial or other forms of intolerance.”

On Twitter, the Colorado Springs Anti-Fascists group has been calling on supporters to contact PayPal and other companies and bring to attention their roles in facilitating the spread of racist propaganda.

“Billy Roper is a well known neo-Nazi leader, so he has been on our radar for years,” an activist from the group told Insider. “Cutting off funding to white supremacist organizations and figureheads makes their recruitment and propaganda efforts more difficult.”

It’s not the first time that PayPal has acted against right-wing extremists after activists pointed out they were exploiting its platform. In 2019, it suspended an account being used to fundraise for the KKK after a co-founder of the anti-racist group Sleeping Giants highlighted it on social media.

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez says GOP leaders who dismiss consequences for Capitol riots ‘are opening the door for it to happen again’

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., on Monday, August 24, 2020.

  • Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez excoriated GOP leaders on Saturday, saying that a lack of accountability for the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 would preclude any “healing” from the violent episode, in which five people died.
  • The second-term New York Democrat has asked her Republican colleagues to join the push in removing President Donald Trump from office.
  • “Let’s be very clear,” she tweeted. “The officials urging for no serious consequences after Wednesday’s attack on our country – including the impeachment, removal, expulsion, and/or indictment of officials who aided, abetted, or incited the attack – are opening the door for it to happen again.”
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez excoriated GOP leaders on Saturday, saying that a lack of accountability for the Capitol riots on Jan. 6 would preclude any “healing” from the violent episode, in which five people died, including a Capitol police officer.

Ocasio-Cortez took to Twitter to slam Republicans, many of whom chose to entertain President Donald Trump’s debunked election challenges that rioters used as a justification to try and stop the President-elect Joe Biden’s Electoral College victory from being certified.

“Let’s be very clear,” she wrote. “The officials urging for no serious consequences after Wednesday’s attack on our country – including the impeachment, removal, expulsion, and/or indictment of officials who aided, abetted, or incited the attack – are opening the door for it to happen again.”

The second-term New York Democrat, who has asked her Republican colleagues to join the push for Trump’s removal from office, stressed that the deadly riots will have major repercussions for the country.

Read more: President-elect Biden expressed confidence his inauguration will be safe. A few hours later, Twitter warned there’s talk of another DC Capitol attack on January 17th.

“Since it appears GOP leaders need a reminder: There is no ‘healing’ from this without accountability,” Ocasio-Cortez added in another tweet. “And there is no “unity” with white supremacists. You know the President’s state has devolved dangerously. If you’re too weak to do anything about it, you’re too weak to serve.”

 

On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez wrote that Trump endangered the lives of all members, not just Democrats.

“To my GOP colleagues: know that this President incited an insurrection against and incited his mob to find, harm, and possibly kill not just Democrats, but you, too. He *will* allow opportunities of physical harm against you if you aren’t sufficiently loyal to him. Remove him,” she tweeted.

This past week, Ocasio-Cortez lit into Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri, who was the first Senate Republican to declare that he would raise objections to the Jan. 6 certification, after a publisher canceled his upcoming book amid fallout from the riots.

“You fist-pumped insurrectionists and baselessly attacked our elections,” she tweeted. “Your actions fueled a riot and you fund raised in the chaos. Five people are dead. Even your GOP colleagues have distanced from your acts.”

Trump, who faces a possible impeachment vote from House Democrats next week, has seen a wave of staff resignations over the past few days in reaction to his handling of the situation, including Transportation secretary Elaine Chao and Education secretary Betsy DeVos.

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