Democratic and Republican Montana lawmakers have condemned plans for a neo-Nazi rally that could include guns, warning the potential demonstrators that anti-Semitic behavior will not be tolerated.
“We stand firmly together to send a clear message that ignorance, hatred and threats of violence are unacceptable and have no place in the town of Whitefish, or in any other community in Montana or across this nation. We say to those few who seek to publicize anti-Semitic views that they shall find no safe haven here.” U.S. Representative Ryan Zinke, President-Elect Donald Trump’s interior secretary pick, recently wrote in an open letter. The letter was also signed by Democratic Montana Governor Steve Bullock, U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester and Attorney General Tim Fox.
The neo-Nazi group planned to hold the rally in the town of Whitefish, Mo. next month to support the mother of white nationalist leader Richard Spencer (the guy who got a bunch of people to do a Nazi salute in D.C.). According to a Medium post she wrote, Spencer’s mother, Sherry Spencer, has been facing calls to sell a building she owns in the community that has ties to her son and to publicly renounce her son’s racist beliefs. She says that Richard Spencer does not own any part of the building, and that she doesn’t want to sell it.
In response to the campaign against Sherry Spencer, neo-Nazi website Daily Stormer called on its readers to “take action” against Jews in Whitefish. The website also published the names and other personal information of Whitefish community members, with a yellow Jewish star superimposed on their photographs. Slate reported last week that the founder of the Daily Stormer, Andrew Anglin, encouraged commenters to go to the house of one Jewish woman in particular and “tell her in person what you think of her actions.”
Whitefish Police Chief Bill Dial said in an interview with Reuters that extra patrols have been provided to those identified on the website.
Spencer’s father also told Reuters that he and his wife “love our son, but do not agree with his polemics, societal desires or his extreme political leanings.”