In the hour before dawn on August 28 a college student found the first flier while on their morning jog. It was wheat pasted to a stop sign. Every stop sign on their route had one or more flyers from two different neo-nazi groups. A few blocks away, a professor went for their morning coffee and noticed a pickup truck with prominent stickers for a so-called 3% militia group called the “West Ohio Minuteman” idling in a parking lot downtown.
Heavily armed 3% militia groups have taken the task of protecting the “Free Speech” rights of neo-nazi groups and more mainstream official Trump rallies. This author has seen them armed, illegally, on Ohio Statehouse grounds chatting with police. This is the first time that a three percent militia has put up or openly endorsed neo-nazi propaganda.
The Village of Yellow Springs, home of Antioch College, is a long standing bastion of civil rights. It was a stop on the underground railroad. It was the first municipality in the nation to include sexual orientation in it's anti-discrimination ordinance. The list of other notable human rights milestones is much longer.
The flyers, bearing the names of Identity Europa and the National Vanguard, were not aimed at recruitment. They bore no point of contact. There are zero people in the village of under 4000 souls that want anything to do with such a thing. All the flyers were had slogans supporting white supremacy or expressing hatred for gays and/or feminists. This was a mass armed act of intimidation directed at an entire zip code because of it's demographics and identity.
Both Identity Europa and National Vanguard were participants in the two days of neo-nazi violence in Charlottesville Virginia this month that left one person dead and 35 wounded.
The police department, recently reeling from a shakeup after their officers tased a reveler during a public permitted New Years Eve celebration, was nowhere to be found. The nazis were across the street from the only source of pastries that was open at the time. There were two cars on duty then. They have made no comment at time of this writing.
Village residents met in small groups all day, discussing their response. While they were doing so, the nazis returned, quietly but in broad daylight. They slithered through the alleys behind prominent businesses and applied wheat paste and fliers to actual buildings. A local mural artist noticed one flier on his art, which also contained anti-police brutality messages. He took it to the police. It was replaced within 20 minutes by another that was found by this author, with the wheat paste still wet. This indicates both target selection and surveillance of results.
Some of the targeted building were actually hosting meetings of concerned residents at the time of the second act of intimidation. A canvass of the downtown area by activists noted an out of place man getting into a Pontiac Grand Prix GT with out of town plates.
The sum total of the days events was a concerted effort by an armed group over a 10 hour period to terrorize a community. At least 2 different car loads of armed men vandalizing public and private property with propaganda from two different neo-nazi groups while flying the insignia of a supposedly unassociated militia.
A quick check of the West Ohio Minuteman Facebook Page shows two of their members giving white supremacists hand signs in their group photo. A single black face appears to have been photo shopped into the back ground. [Editors note: Activists researching these groups have confirmed this person was not photoshopped in and has been seen with them at two events.]
Local residents seem somber and determined. None came forward to be quoted directly by name in the Mockingbird, but one quietly promised a “firm, measured and direct response.” to happen very soon.
Nationally this event in ground breaking in that it is not the so-called defense of Confederate “heritage” symbols but an actual attack on a historically abolitionist town both at night and in broad daylight by armed right wing groups that have never previously worked together in public before.
The Mockingbird will monitor this situation as it develops.