Our VoiceCulture

White Nationalists and Anti-Racist Activists Clash in Chicago Suburb


Jill Garvey • May 21, 2012

Amid NATO Summit activities and protests this weekend, violence erupted Saturday afternoon in nearby Tinley Park when a white nationalist group tried to hold a public gathering at a restaurant. Reportedly, 15 to 30 local anti-racist activists got wind of it and showed up with bats to break up the party.

The Chicago Sun-Times interviewed an organizer of the white nationalist event named Beckie Williams who said her group is called the European Heritage Group and they are not white supremacists.“Where all this horrible, ugly, white supremacist stuff is coming from is beyond me,” she said. “I can’t wrap my head around it. I never thought celebrating your heritage was supremacy or racist.”

However, the newspaper tracked down a post by Williams on whitenewsnow.com that described the event as, “May Meet for White Nationalists and Families.”

According to Anti-Racist Action, the event was advertised on Stormfront and other white nationalist listservs as the White Nationalist Economic Summit and Illinois White Nationalist Meet-and-Greet. The Anti-Racist Action website stated:

The attendees have attempted to cover up the true intent of the event with mainstream media reports initially reporting the white nationalist conference as a wedding party and then as an Irish heritage meeting. The event was advertised on www.stormfront.org, an established white nationalist fascist internet forum.

The restaurant where the melee occurred was apparently unaware of the group’s true nature. Racist groups often have to lie in order to secure venues for events and meetings.

This clash comes close on the heels of other troubling reports of organized racist activity. In Florida, two week ago, members of the American Front, an anti-Semitic group, were arrested for allegedly planning “to kill Jews, immigrants and other minorities.” In a heavily protected compound, American Front members conducted firearms, explosives and tactical training.

Three weeks ago, Arizona neo-Nazi J.T. Ready shot and killed four people and then himself. On the very same online forums that the Tinley Park event was promoted, most notably Stormfront, Ready was hailed as a martyr.

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