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Nazi stuff Boston city officials slam neo-Nazi demonstration at St Patrick’s Day parade

"Unfortunately, we only have control over who can participate in the parade and cannot control who attends"

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The neo-Nazi demonstration in Boston

The neo-Nazi demonstration in Boston

The neo-Nazi demonstration in Boston

Boston city officials have slammed a demonstration by a gang of neo-Nazis at the city’s St Patrick’s Day parade as “deeply disturbing”. 

A gang of about 20 people gathered on the street along the parade route last Sunday with a banner that read: “Keep Boston Irish.”

Along with their banner, the white supremacists wore paraphernalia related to the Nationalist Social Club, which is listed as a neo-Nazi organisation by the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).

They also wore masks with the number “131” and displayed a version of the Celtic cross that’s been used by white supremacists.

According to a recent report by the ADL, the National Socialist Club, a neo-Nazi group also known as NSC 131, focuses its activity in New England.

The number is the alphanumeric code for ACA, or Anti Communist Action, and is frequently used by the group.

One member of the group carried a black flag with a white plus sign inside a circle. The symbol, incorrectly called a Celtic cross, is a commonly used as a white supremacist symbol, according to the ADL.

Cal Farley, an investigative researcher with the Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism told The Boston Globe that the actual Celtic cross is not a hate symbol, and is a symbol of Christianity used in Ireland.

According to local media, the group staged their demonstration on the route of South Boston’s St Patrick’s Day parade, upsetting onlookers, parade organisers.

“It was deeply disturbing to see this display at a local celebration of culture and heritage, as we work to heal and build community through our recovery,” Boston Mayor Michelle Wu said.

“With the growing intensity of white supremacist groups nationally, we are working closely with law enforcement at all levels—Boston will not tolerate hate crimes, and we will not be intimidated in our work to build a city for everyone.”

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Parade organisers told the Globe that the group was “neither invited, nor welcome at our parade.”

“As a Jewish American, it hits especially close to home for me,” Dave Falvey, commander of South Boston Allied Veterans Council, told the Globe on Monday.

“Unfortunately, we only have control over who can participate in the parade and cannot control who attends. Such groups will never be welcome in any capacity at the South Boston St Patrick’s Day /Evacuation Day Parade.”

Elected officials from South Boston, including City Council President Ed Flynn, Councilor Michael Flaherty, state Senator Nick Collins, state Representative David Biele, US Representative Stephen Lynch, and Clerk Michael Donovan, issued a joint statement to the Globe Monday condemning the group’s presence.

“We are disgusted by reports of outside hate groups descending into Boston for the St Patrick’s Day Parade yesterday," they wrote.

“Their ideology is repugnant and contrary to an event that celebrates our proud immigrant history and is enjoyed by children, families, and people of all ethnicities and backgrounds,” the delegation added.

"As a city and Commonwealth we must confront and stop hate, racism and discrimination everywhere it exists.”

The owners of Sully’s Brand, a Beverly-based sports apparel company, said in a statement that they were horrified to see a member of the group waving a flag they created. The flag is a play on the Irish flag, with green and orange fields and a large white shamrock in the middle.

“Sully’s Brand emphatically denounces this group and their cause,” the owners wrote. “Irish immigrants were not met with compassion and acceptance when they first came here in the 18th century and the notion that we should repeat that prejudiced behavior is ridiculous and disgusting.”

Sightings of white supremacist propaganda have increased dramatically in the last five years, the Anti-Defamation League reports.

The organisation’s researchers found 4,851 reported cases in 2021, which is down about 5% from 2020, but is more than 16 times the 294 cases reported in 2017.

Reported hate crimes also have risen. In 2020, the FBI reported its highest surge of hate crimes in 12 years.

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