Thanks to One People’s Project, Philly Antifa was alerted, less than 48 hours before, to a planned rally by several sects of the Ku Klux Klan in the city.
The KKK is extremely fragmented these days, so for an explanation of those involved we turn to DLJ over at One People’s Project:
“According to some reports, the threat of a Klan rally was brewing for just over a month in the Tacony section of Philadelphia after a local Grand Dragon was kicked out of a town watch organization. According to Joe Nicoletti of the Tacony/Holmesburg Town Watch, The East Coast Knights of the True Invisible Empire have been trying to start their own town watches, and have been trying to recruit within established committees such as his. When he discovered this among his own ranks, his town watch removed the person. In response, the Klan groups wanted to come out to the neighborhood in a “show of force” to support him. There was no public call or any messages on the internet announcing the event, but a permit was filed with the city. Police officials said they could not release the name of the person who filed the permit.
The Klansmen boasted upwards (of) 80 Klansmen were to participate with a number of high profile speakers on hand, but in the end only seven stood on the steps of the Tacony Library on the corner of Torresdale and Knorr. Among them were Richard Preston, Imperial Wizard of the Confederate White Knights of Rosedale, Md., which as only been in existance for three years, The Knights of the Nordic Order, which was founded by former Aryan Brotherhood members, and other Klansmen from Virginia and Western Pennsylvania. The East Coast Knights banner was unfurled during the rally.”
Despite almost no notice, over 60 people turned out to protest against the Klan. That number started as a handful but continued to grow as word spread throughout the neighborhood and people came out to join Philly Antifa, One People’s Project and their fellow Anti-Racists.
The rally was typical Klan fare these days: they had 7 people, a permit and police escort. They were slated to rally for 2 hours but were there for about 45 minutes. No one heard a word they said over the boos and jeers. Someone had also written a sign that said “honk if you hate the KKK” which elicited plenty of honks. The Klan left hurriedly. They didn’t even bother to talk shit except once inside their cars speeding away. But that wasn’t the end of the day for Antifa.
Instead, about 2 dozen people from the crowd got to talking about something: the fact that local Neo-Nazi organizers Bryan and Patricia Vanagaitis lived only a few blocks away. Together we walked over there to 6611 Ditman st. and said hello.
The crowd chanted “DEATH DEATH DEATH TO THE NAZIS” and “THIS IS OUR COMMUNITY NAZIS OUT NAZIS OUT” out front and spoke with the Vanagaitis’ neighbors, informing those who were unaware of their affiliations. Eventually it became clear that no one was coming out even though they answered the door when the cops knocked.
Despite claims by KSS that they “prefer to be in the streets” in 2012 Greek Nazi Zine, the Vanagaitis’ passed on our invitations to come outside. In the same interview, the KSS member says that “The reds (meaning anyone who opposed fascism) in America are often times young, spoiled, suburban kids with no real desire to be face to face with us, or people of other groups…” (Omerta Terror Machine #28)
The KKK,(and possibly Nazis as well), are holding a rally at the Tacony Public Library, located at 6742 Torresdale Ave in Philadelphia, tomorrow from 1pm-3pm. The organizers have a permit. Exact numbers are not known, but fascists will be coming in from rural PA and Maryland. All anti-racists/anti-fascists in the Philadelphia area need to be in attendance tomorrow at a counter demo being organized by Philly Antifa and One People’s Project. The counter demo will be located on the side walk outside the Tacony Public Library, beginning at 1pm. Please forward this alert widely!
This is really short notice, but the Klan did not announce this demonstration anywhere and we were lucky that One People’s Project was able to find out at all.
The Klan has a permit, which means they will likely be bussed in and out under police protection. We encourage everyone able to attend the protest to do so. Let the Klan and Nazis know that no one is intimidated by them, and remind them what would happen if they should ever stand on a corner in Philadelphia in Klan robes for 2 hours WITHOUT a bunch of Philly PD protecting them.
As One People’s Project has reported (as well as Philly.com and the Philadelphia Inquirer) Keystone State Skinheads (KSS) associate Vincent Pellegrino died on the morning of May 20th while fleeing the scene after sexually assaulting a woman in the 2600 Block of Collins Street.
Pellegrino crashed the car, which belonged to the woman he assaulted, into a wall along Westmoreland street and was pronounced dead at the scene minutes later. It is unknown whether he lost control of the car or intentionally crashed.
KSS (also known as Keystone United) had been trying desperately to fix their brand in recent years, changing between the two names frequently, and claiming in interviews that their acts of violence are all in the past. They would have us believe that these days they are just concerned nationalists. This incident demonstrates once again that KSS members and supporters are the scum of the earth, and no amount of careful media planning or timid behavior in public will make people forget this.
The Pellegrino brothers are both listed on the 6400 Block of Ditman street, only a few blocks from KSS members Patricia and Bryan Vanagaitis. Nunzio was the KSS supporter who recently attended a rally against Russian intervention in Ukraine. KSS members and other Neo-Nazis are lamenting Pellegrino’s death on social media and making absolutely no mention of the assault.
Rape and sexual assault are a global crisis. As much as we would love to blame it on Fascism, rapists (overwhelmingly but not always male) will claim to follow all sorts of political ideologies. What we can confidently say is that Fascism is and always has been a sexist and anti-woman movement.
“Woman’s world is her husband, her family, her children and her home. We do not find it right when she presses into the world of men.” – Adolph Hitler
Fuck you, Hitler.
Antifascists must support reproductive freedom, personal autonomy, an end to rape and rape culture, and oppose patriarchy and sexism. If we ignore those things in favor of making alliances with sexists who may be Anti-Nazi, we doom our movement to destroy itself with toxic people, as happens within Fascist movements routinely.
By now most of you have heard about the Misogynist murder spree of Elliott Rodgers, a so-called “nice guy” who was in reality a murderous sexist and racist to boot. Rodgers felt entitled to murder women for the “crime” of not wanting to sleep with him. He lamented online about how he couldn’t compete sexually with “inferior” black men. He had weapons and choose to turn them against unsuspecting young women because he felt entitled to do so.
Philly Antifa believe that we can live in a world without men like Elliott Rodgers and Vincent Pellegrino. That racism, sexism and hetero-patriarchy were concepts not borne from nature but intentionally engineered into our social and religious institutions as forms of control that have since become “tradition” or “just the way it is.” The fights against those evils are all unique and require different analysis and tactics, but they will either all be won or all be lost.
Edit 3/21: Brianna Jeanne was a pseudonym her real name is Briana Pietropaula. We will continue to update this article as we get more new info on these scumbags. To those of you who have been sending us info, thanks.
Back in October the Philadelphia chapter of the Keystone State “Skinheads”/KSS (also know as Keystone United or KU) invited Neo-Nazis, White Nationalists and generally ugly people to our city under the guise of a “Leif Ericson Day Celebration.” In reality, the event served as an opportunity to show that KSS has a street presence in Philadelphia. However, as the report back and subsequent identification of almost all of the identities illustrated, only a handful of those in attendance actually live in Philadelphia area, and KSS had inflated their numbers with people from as far away as Indiana, Oklahoma and Washington state. This post will serve to identify the key players in Philly KSS who were involved in bringing that mob of Neo-Nazis to our town.
Bryan Vanagaitis and Patricia Benner Vanagaitis
Bryan and Patricia Vanagaitis are longtime boneheads. They live with their son at a house at 6611 Ditman Street in Tacony . Their son is a little nazi too; one we encountered at Leif Ericson Day 3 years ago when he was briefly detained then released after getting caught with a knife.
The house on Ditman street serves as an important home base for KSS in Philly. In addition to hosting social events there, the Vanagaitises provide housing to boneheads when they are first arriving in the city or if they need a place to stay. One guest of theirs a few years ago was a bonehead named Drew Boyle, who was eventually expelled from KSS for being a loudmouth drunk with a habit of getting arrested on embarrassing charges while they were trying to bury their history and whitewash the KSS brand.
AJ Olsen and Briana Pietropaula
AJ Olsen is the head of Philly KSS. He spearheaded organizing the Leif Ericson day celebration as well as a new initiative by KSS called the Be Active Front, which attempt to co-opt European graffiti and Autonome imagery and language to mask their Nazism.
Briana Pietropaula (aka Briana Jeane on fb), AJ’s partner, is a supporter of KSS (originally KSS did not allow female members. it is unclear whether Patricia Vanagaitis is patched in or not but she is definitely active in the organizing and recruiting for KSS) but has yet to make that support public. So we went ahead and did it for her.
AJ is another bonehead who lived with the Vanagaitises when he first moved from New Jersey to Philly. He was then living at 2415 Tulip street in a house owned (at the time) by Briana’s father Robert. AJ was living at 2560 Memphis Street until very recently, but hemoved, possible in with Briana.
Joey Phy and Stacey Sautner
Joey Phy and Stacey Sautner live with their daughter at 4383 Salmon Street in Bridesburg. Phy was under house arrest a few years ago when KSS was getting a lot of press, but recently has become very active, helping organize Leif Ericson day as well as attending a recent protest against Russian intervention in Ukraine.
There will be consequences for attempting to organize a Fascist or Nazi presence in Philadelphia, even if it ends in abject defeat for the Fascists as Leif Ericson day did last year. Those responsible and their supporters cannot hide.
We would like to encourage all our readers to donate to one or both of these brave individuals who were imprisoned for taking a stand against Racism and Fascism.
Cece McDonald is a trans woman who was attacked in 2011, along with several friends, by a group of Transphobic Racists. In the ensuing melee, one of the attackers was stabbed and killed. Cece is scheduled to be released this month and her supporters are fundraising to give her some help when she get out. Click here to donate to Cece McDonald.
John Tucker is one of the Tinley Park 5, 5 Antifascists imprisoned on trumped-up charges stemming from a disruption of a meeting of representatives of several Neo-Nazi/White Power groups. John is also slated for release this month. His supporters have also started a prison release fund. Click here to donate to John Tucker.
Please give all you can to support these two Antifascists.
Sorry it’s taken me so long to put this out. I’ve been working on my transition back in to the world and so far everyone has been great with helping me out with everything. I kinda feel like a new born, HA. Anyway, I just wanted to write something and post it up for everyone to see that I’m out now and am doing ok. Most of all I want to say thank you to everyone for helping me with everything during my incarceration. It’s still so very surreal. Prison was the hardest thing I’ve ever done, but people like all of you who exist with your endless love: I couldn’t have done any of this without you. I would also like to thank you for all the help you’ve been giving my four friends during their stint in Dante’s Inferno. It’s really hard to put into words how much all of you mean to me. Because of you I’ve been able to survive and stay strong. Your solidarity continues to leave me speechless. I want to thank you for all the books and amazing letters that I received. I hope my letters made it to you. I did my best to personally write everyone back and if you didn’t here back from me it’s prolly because the gestopo was withholding my mail. I want to personally thank the whole A.R.A. network, Denver, New York, and south side ABC, and every other chapter in between; Kieran (your mom’s books are great), Philly antifa, Kat from Oak Roots Press, all the kids in Germany, Allina Dollot in France, and especially my home crew in Lafayette and Bloomington (you guys are the best!), my big brothers NOMAD and TELLY; oh and my homie Petey from Sacramento Prisoner Support. Last but not least I wanna thank two very special people that I hold very dear to my heart: Stephanie from the Bloomington ABC and Sara Garber, my amazing lawyer. If I believed in guardian angels I would be convinced that you two were the real deal… I love you both soooooo fucking much! Thank you to anyone who wrote a letter; went to a fundraiser; made a visit; told some one about our case; and kept me, John, Jason, Cody, and Dylan in your hearts. All of you mean so much to me; without you all of this would have been a nightmare. Thank you so, so much!
H.A.R.M. SKIN for life!
ANTIFA FOREVER! FOREVER ANTIFA! FREEDOM NOW FOR THE TINLEY PARK 4!!!!!!
Love and Rage, Alex Stuck
Welcome home Alex. Everyone is so happy you are free.
From One Peoples Project: The annual ritual of making David Irving’s life miserable is about to begin again! Here’s a refresher: Every year the Holocaust denier and Hitler apologist David Irving comes out to the US from the UK, and attempts to hold meetings and talks to promote his notion that the Nazis were just misunderstood and they didn’t really kill over 11 million innocent people , six million of them the Jews they hated so much. This year, he is going around the country extolling the virtues of Adolf Hitler! (click link for more)
Irving’s tour begins today in Melbourne, FL. Here is a complete list of the dates and locations.
November 6- Melbourne, FL
November 7- charleston, SC
November 8- Columbia, SC
November 9- Carlotte NC
November 10- Raleigh, NC
November 11- Richmond, VA
Novmeber 15- Washington DC
November 16- Baltimore
November 17- Philadelphia
November 18- Princeton
November 19- Northern NJ
November 22- NYC
November 23- New Haven
November 24-Manchester, NH
November 26-Syracuse, NY
Devcember 1- Cleveland, OH
December 2- Pittsburgh, OH
December 3- Columbus, OH
December 4- Cincinatti, OH
December 6- Indianapoli, IN
December 7- Chicago, Illinois
December 8- St. Louis, MO
December 9- Jackson Missisipi
December 10- Montgomery, AL
December 12- Nashville, TN
December 13- Knoxville, TN
Let’s show David Irving and his Nazi fans that he is not welcome anywhere. If you have any info, or to request info, about any of these events feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com.
On October 19th, 2013 a coalition of Neo-Nazis from as far away as Texas, massed together by the Blood and Honour network and led by the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS), converged on Philadelphia with the intention to march in formation through Faimrount park and rally at the statue of Thorfin Karlsefni.
From the moment they (numbering 30-40) arrived at the top of lemon hill the boneheads knew they were in for a long day. They were immediately set upon by an equal number of protestors who hurled insults and abuse at them and the police protecting them. At first Philly KSS head A.J. Olsen was pleasantly surprised at the turnout by Anti-Racists, but had his hopes deflated as moments later another 100+ protestors made their way up Lemon Hill and blocked their march route, linking arms and chanting “DEATH, DEATH, DEATH TO THE NAZIS…”
Civil Affairs police attempted to force their way past the bloc of Antifascists, who refused to give way. After several attempt to circumvent or push through the bloc, a few of the Nazi organizers frantically attempted to salvage the situation. Eventually they chose to abandon their attempts to march completely and instead to just walk down Lemon Hill in pairs and individuals with their own police escorts. Never has the old chant “the cops and klan go hand in hand” looked so literal.
This created what must have been the strangest and most exciting moment of the day, when the 200+ demonstrators, 30+ Nazis and 50+ civil affairs police met in a large mass, strolling down lemon hill together. One Antifa ripped the banner KSS has brought from their hands. One instantly-legendary lady Antifascist grabbed Vinlanders Social Club founder Brien James by the neck and arm and pulled him down until a civil affairs officer stepped in to rescue him from her. There were several more scuffles like that and by the time the Nazis reached the bottom of the hill the protestors had formed up in front of the statue while others enveloped the Nazis and cops on all sides.
The Nazis attempted to put on a brave face but were clearly rattled. Several of them made short speeches in a bullhorn but were drowned out by the jeering crowd of protestors and Antifascists. Brien James had the nerve to claim that we had “failed” to prevent them from holding their event, conveniently ignoring the fact that without the police protection they would have gotten stomped out the second they left their cars on lemon hill. Well, Brien, I guess that depends on how you define failure. For example, someone might say that when a group holds a march in formation for 6 years and then on the 7th is forced to run down the hill holding the hands of police detectives, one might call that a failure. When a group tries to lay wreath at a statue and cannot for five consecutive years because of a mass of people in opposition to them blocking their way, one might call that a failure. When the supposed largest Network of Neo-Nazis in this whole world can only mobilize 30-40 boneheads willing to show their faces in Philadelphia, scraping the bottom of the barrel (Aryan Teror Brigade, Advanced White Society and NSM, really?) and going as far as Texas for support, one might call THAT a failure.
Unfortunately, outside of light scuffling the Nazis escaped unscathed thanks to the police. Fortunately, there were no arrests.
Some of the Nazis who made the trip to Fairmount to be humiliated include:
As per usual, we accept any and all verifiable intelligence on these clowns.
This is only another battle in the war against Blood and Honour. No one is buying this shit about a “Kinder, Gentler White Nationalist” except for idiots who believe what they read in the Philadelphia Weekly. The rest of us know what you do and what you’re about. You claim the random racist and homophobic/transphobic violence is all in the past?
That is a picture from this years’ Leif Erikson Day Celebration. Notice anything interesting, other than what that one lady is wearing? Seriously, she looks like she just woke up from 1985. But no, not her:
The bonehead walking next to Jay Butterbaugh is wearing an Aryan Terror Brigade bandanna. Two Aryan Terror Brigade members were convicted LAST AUGUST of attacking two Egyptian men in a random racist attack in New Jersey following a SOCIAL GATHERING of Neo-Nazis, not unlike Leif Erikson Day. Oh, and Aryan Terror Brigade was also started by this man.
We have no intention of letting Philadelphia be a rallying location for Blood and Honour, KSS, or any of these other little fucking crews of douche bags watering down their politics for the T.V. cameras and puffing out their chests. Oh, and those of you that who were too cowardly to actually even show up in Fairmount and just went to the after-party:
NEO-NAZI BONEHEADS RALLYING AND MARCHING IN PHILADELPHIA
ALL OUT AGAINST THE FASCISTS!!
WHERE: Philadelphia, Boathouse Row, Fairmount Park (Thorfin Karlsefni Statue along Kelly Drive)
WHEN: October 19, 2013 @ 11:00 AM
Its that time of year again. Every October for several years the “White Nationalist” Nazis of the Keystone State Skinheads (KSS) have held their “Leif Ericson Day Celebration” in Philly’s Fairmount Park. KSS has been in decline in recent years but have been attempting a resurgence. KSS memorializes the “first European to land in America” because they feel it justifies their ludicrous claims that the US is a “white nation” belonging only to people of “pure” European Descent. And like almost all of those several years, Antifascists in the region are mobilizing to confront them.
Why oppose this event? For several reasons: KSS have been operating in PA for over ten years with relative impunity, but Philadelphia remains one of the few places in the state with an active resistance to their organizing and recruiting attempts. Areas where they are able to grow openly and unopposed are inevitably the locations of fascist violence. Several known examples (which tend to represent the tip of the iceberg) of violence perpetrated by KSS members include a 2002 assault in Feasterville, a 2003 hate crime assault in Scranton, an attempted homicide in New Stanton in 2006, and homicide charges brought against 2 members in 2007 for a double murder of 2 homeless men in Florida.
Incidents like this have (thankfully) slowed down due to KSS’s decline. However, KSS, along with Blood and Honour USA, put on a large white power concert near Altoona this year. They also attended a rally and a WP show in New Jersey, both events well attended. If we allow the Fascists to regroup and recruit, we only ensure a much more difficult battle in the near future. However, if we respond with a furious opposition willing to expose, oppose and confront these Neo-Nazis, we can smash KSS for good and put a serious dent in Blood and Honour’s attempts to coalesce various White Power groups.
In addition to stemming the tide of Fascist violence and the possibility of finishing off KSS, there is the matter of solidarity. Even if you do not feel that KSS affects you, there is no debating that their violence has very real victims. Turning a blind eye to the attempts to resurrect KSS is a tacit concession to many more incidents of fascist violence.
We will be gathering at the Thorfin Karlsefni statue along Kelly Drive in Fairmount Park at 11:00 AM with the intention of occupying their rallying location. Another group, Residents Against Racism, is also going to be protesting the Nazis. They have called for a peaceful protest and we intend to respect that as far as the area around the statue and their bloc, but we will be adhering to a diversity of tactics in all other parts of the park and reserve the right to defend ourselves from Fascist attack.
This call is for all good people who will not be silent in the face of Fascist aggression. Unity is our strength. Enough is enough is enough. They want a race war. They’re only going to get the last half.
Dear friends, As you may have heard, a valued member of our community has been taken away from us. Jason Hammond was arrested July 11 for allegedly being involved in an altercation between an anti-racist group and white supremacists in Tinley Park, IL over a year ago.
We are asking for your support so Jason can have a fair chance to fight this case from outside prison. Jason is an active member of our community who is committed to helping people through music, teaching and social justice activism.He is currently being held at Cook County Jail with an unreasonably high bail of $100,000 cash. This means that 100% of the bail amount must be paid for Jason’s freedom.
Every donation counts! Small donations are currently being used for his commissary and legal fees. If you are considering pledging a large amount of money, you should know that this will be a loan and that it will be returned upon sentencing. Please forward this message widely and rapidly so that we can return Jason to his loved ones as soon as possible.
For Pledges Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
-Jason Hammond Defense Committee
On a personal note, we at Philly Antifa are saddened and outraged to hear about this ridiculous persecution of Jason. For us his “guilt” of being involved in shutting down a major meeting of individuals representing several Neo-Nazi organizations (which we doubt seriously) is not the issue. Maybe Jason is an innocent victim of targeting by law enforcement because of his and/or his brother’s activism. Maybe he is one of the courageous antifascists who stormed that restaurant. Either way he deserves our support.
The past 6-8 weeks has seen an unusually large amount of police attention on White Power boneheads in the Garden State, and the boneheads are starting to ask questions as to why.
One People’s Project reports that Josh Steever (75A Kuhl Road, Flemington NJ) and Kyle Powell, the numbers one and two in Aryan Terror Brigade (ATB) are both facing legal troubles. Steever is (or was) being held in Middlesex County jail on charge of terroristic threats (more on that later). Powell has already plead guilty to his role in a hate crime committed on New Year’s eve 2011 in New Jersey that may spell the end of ATB, who may also be trying to take another older, more established NJ bonehead crew with them.
It is not known when exactly Powell was arrested for his role in the attack, but the fact that he has already pled guilty makes it very likely that he was arrested before any of the other boneheads discussed in this article.
Then, in mid-December, a member of the Atlantic City Skins (AC Skins) Chris Ising and a member of ATB Michael Gunar were arrested on federal hate crimes charges stemming from their alleged involvement in the same attack that Powell just pled guilty to.
According to the cops, all of these boys were in attendance at a “White Power Meet-and-Greet” held at Ising’s former home in East Brunswick. Following the event, several boneheads went out and randomly attacked a group of residents of a nearby housing development for being Arab, injuring them.
Unfortunately, these sorts of attacks are commonplace when boneheads congregate together and present a sobering reminder as to why ALL attempts to organize by Neo-Nazi and far-right groups need to be opposed, even their “social events.”
The police have not released any information as to how they ascertained who was involved in the attack, which again had occurred almost a year earlier. Another interesting thing to note is that this event shows a relationship between ACS and ATB has been developing for some time. It is unknown whether or not Josh Steever was in attendance at the meet-and-greet or the attack afterwards.
As a side note, during this period two other boneheads from ACS were arrested for Domestic Violence and Assault charges, as of now there seems to be no connection the arrests of Gunar, Ising and Powell.
Part Two: Fallout
Gunar and Ising (who has a long criminal record) remain under indictment. Powell is out of jail pending sentencing, with a maximum possible sentence of 5 years.
Since the arrests of Steevers, Powell, Gunar and Ising, some of the (relatively) smarter boneheads in NJ have begun questioning who can be trusted in ATB.
A commenter on the One People’s Project article about Steever and Powell’s arrests claiming to be “Josh Long” of ATB alleges that Steever snitched on Powell, Ising and Gunar and claims that he is no longer a member of ATB, the group he founded.
While this is hardly proof-positive of Steever (and Powell) being a snitch, it does fit in with what Antifa in NJ and Philly have been suspecting ever since Josh Steever returned to NJ: that he is a police informant, and that Aryan Terror Brigade might have been created with the express purpose of attracting some of the more reckless and unstable elements of the White Power scene in the US.
Part Three: Filling in the Blanks
So what has led us to believe that Steever was a snitch since day one of ATB? The answer goes back several years.
Josh Steever is originally from the New Jersey, but first drew attention in Texas in 2005 for attacking someone with an axe handle, earning the nickname “Hatchet.” Steever managed to plead down from Felony to misdemeanor assault.
In 2008 Steever was arrested again, this time in California. According to the Anti-Defamation League, Steever “as arrested on June 12, 2006, four days after he accompanied his girlfriend to Newark Memorial High School to pick up her yearbook. At that time, Steever allegedly made racial slurs at two African American students waiting in line for their yearbooks and then pulled out a pocket knife and threatened to stab them…”
Despite being charged with several Felonies and hate crime enhancements, Steever suspiciously served only a year in California. This led to the first allegations that Steever had informed to the police in exchange for a reduced sentence and/or an early release. Allegations coming from fellow Neo-Nazis like this stormfront poster going by the name “SWAWILL.” SWA, or Supreme White Alliance, is a Neo-Nazi group that Steever was once an associate of:
When Steever got out of jail in California he returned to NJ where he reportedly must remain as a condition of his parole. Upon his return Steever started ATB, which has been almost universally dismissed as too juvenile/shocking by other Neo-Nazis to develop public relationships with. Steever did develop a knack for attracting young internet boneheads with outlandish rhetoric and a reputation for being unapologetically unreasonable about his bigotry. Around this time Steever also became associated with Blood and Honor USA, one of two competing Neo-Nazi groups of the same name.
In addition to the situation on New Jersey, many of you may recall the recent arrest of the entirety of Florida American Front following a police informant being “patched into” their group. Coincidentally (?) one of the people arrested was Ken McClellan, who was pled a federal weapons charge down to PROBATION, despite being an ex-convict.
According to Josh Steever himself, Ken McClellan is (or was) a member of Aryan Terror Brigade before and during the arrests.
It seems that wherever Aryan Terror Brigade is found, the police are not far behind.
Police informants and undercover agents are no new phenomenon in Neo-Nazi/Far Right circles. Powerhouses in their movement such as The Order, the World Church of the Creator and the certain incarnations of the KKK have been destroyed by state infiltration and snitches.
Compared to two recent cases in New Jersey and Illinois involving Antifascists, the Pemberton 2 and the Tinley Park 5. In both cases those arrested represented a small portion of those involved in the “crimes” they were charged with. In both cases, but especially for the TP5, giving up their comrades would have certainly meant lenient treatment, if not immunity from charge altogether. But unlike the boneheads, in both cases not a single Antifascist would give up their accomplices.
Right now the Tinley Park 5 sit in prison on trumped-up charges because they were unwilling to sacrifice fellow Antifascists to save themselves, and all evidence indicates that members of Aryan Terror Brigade and the Atlantic City Skins sit in prison because their “white brothers” did just that.
On January 4, 2013 all members of the Tinley Park Five accepted a non-cooperating plea bargain in which they each plead guilty to three felony counts of Armed Violence in exchange for “lenient” sentences and the guarantee of ‘day-for-day’ good behavior. Jason Sutherlin was sentenced to 6 years. Cody Lee Sutherlin and Dylan Sutherlin were sentenced to 5 years. Alex Stuck and John Tucker were sentenced to 3 1/2 years due to their youth and complete lack of criminal history. Each will be placed upon two years of supervised release upon release from prison.
Before the plea was accepted, the State offered the Tinley Park Five one last chance to betray their comrades in exchange for their freedom. What a waste of time! As anarchist and antifascists, the Tinley Park Five are no more capable of selling out the struggle than their broken system is capable of reforming itself! They laughed at the offer and bravely accepted their fate.
Credit was given for the 7 months already served in Cook County. They will receive ’day-for-day’ good time credit which effectively cuts the sentences in half. The state of Illinois also offers several programs and classes which can chip away at sentences. Optimistically, Alex and John could be out before Christmas 2013. Dylan and Cody could be out my Autumn 2014. Jason could be out by Christmas 2014. This is all hypothetical and highly speculative of course.
On Monday January 7th, the Tinley Park Five will be transferred to Stateville for between one and three weeks. There the Illinois Department of Corrections will decide where they will spend the duration of their sentences. Until this decision is reached PLEASE HOLD ALL MAIL. If you wish to donate to the Tinley Park Five at this time we ask that you use WePay rather than money orders at this time, as we’re concerned that they will get lost or delayed as the Tinley Park Five are being transferred between facilities. We’re working on trying to quickly raise as much money as possible to ease this transition.
Make no mistake, it is with great sorrow that we accept just how long we’ll be separated from our dear friends, but they will not be forgotten nor will their struggle cease in their absence. This support crew will continue to advocate for each of them in whatever they decide to do until every last one of them is free. Communiques from several members of the Tinley Park Five to their supporters are expected soon and will be posted on this website.
The Tinley Park Five as well as their supporters, comrades, family, and friends would like to thank Aaron Goldstein, Sara Garber, Brian Barrido, James Fennerty, Stuart Smith, Matthew Dodge, and everyone else who assisted in their legal defense. They would also like to thank the National Lawyer’s Guild for connecting these attorneys with the Tinley Park Five as well as the People’s Law Office for consulting with us in the initial stages of this ordeal.
The Tinley Park Five also wanted to thank Chicago Anarchist Black Cross as well as South Side for their help in bringing people out to their most recent court appearance. Seeing so many supporters meant more than you could know to them. Thanks to everyone who was able to make it. Thanks to everyone on the interwebz for helping to get the word out about it so well.
I was able to speak with Jason this morning and Alex last night and both of them asked that there be a public acknowledgement of all the groups who have humbled us with their support thus far. Thanks to Denver ABC, Salt Lake City ABC, New York City ABC, Rose City Antifa, Southside Chicago Anti-Racist Action, Philly ARA, Lafayette HARM, Circle City ARA, One People’s Project, Bursts-o-Goodness, Political Fail Blog, Sacramento Prisoner Support, M1AA, IWW, VICE, Worker’s World (especially NYC and Detroit affiliates), the Btown crew, as well as anyone who’s attended a letter-writing party, a court date, or came to visit. Thanks to the countless organizations that I apologize in advance for forgetting to mention.
Thanks to all of you Anonymous gangsters that had our backs with #opStormfrontRaid. Dirty South, whoever you are, you’re a life-saver, literally. Thanks to anyone who has stepped up in any way they could whether that be sharing a link or donating a couple dollars.
Thanks to everyone that has helped, but please don’t forget… the Tinley Park Five aren’t going to be in the news headlines as often but they are still going to need just as much support. We ask that you not forget about the Tinley Park Five! Please keep the benefit shows, letter-writing parties, and other acts of solidarity coming as they’re needed now as much as ever.
We’ll leave you with this quote, nearly a century old, which still rings just as true today:
“Your Honor, years ago I recognized my kinship with all living beings, and I made up my mind that I was not one bit better than the meanest on earth. I said then, and I say now, that while there is a lower class, I am in it, and while there is a criminal element I am of it, and while there is a soul in prison, I am not free.” – Eugene Debs 1918
Yours in Solidarity,
Tinley Park Five and Support Crew
We at Philly Antifa have the utmost respect for the TP5 for standing strong and refusing to name their comrades-in-arms, as well as for participating in a successful action against a high-value fascist target.
It is heartbreaking to see our comrades remain imprisoned. We can’t help but wonder what else we could have done, or done differently, to aid them. But our hearts swell to be even considered allies with these heroes and their support team.
This has only motivated us to both continue supporting the TP5 and taking up the fight against Fascism while they are prisoners of war.