Inside the tricks white nationalists are using to recruit new members in New England
Neo-Nazis protest at Pomona City Hall in 2011 (Screen cap).

On Wednesday, The Boston Globe reported a new wave of white nationalist recruitment efforts in New England — and some of the sneaky tactics they are using to trick apolitical people into being radicalized to their cause.

Many white nationalist and neo-Nazi groups suffered a massive blow in the wake of the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which led to violent street clashes and the murder of a counterprotester. Since then, these groups have been targeted by lawsuits designed to bankrupt them, and many have been torn apart by infighting.

But many in the movement haven't given up — and are pivoting to more insidious, less violent methods of exerting political pressure.

"Since late June, every state in New England has seen an increase in white supremacist activity, from flyer distribution in small towns and cities by NSC-131, to a march by the Texas-based Patriot Front in downtown Boston and the presence of members of the California-based Goyim Defense League. The week of July 4th was especially active," reported Amanda Milkovits. "'All these groups try to mask antisemitism and racism behind patriotism, so they purposely pick a patriotic holiday,' said Robert Trestan, the executive director of the Anti-Defamation League’s Boston office. 'And they view the United States as in a state of distress, so they are using the platform to advertise.'"

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Another such group active in recent days is dropping leaflets in southern New England towns.

"Andrew Irby saw the jagged symbol on the leaflets blowing across his mother-in-law’s lawn on Rockwood Avenue in Cranston, and immediately understood what it was about," said the report. "The Nationalist Social Club 131, which describes itself as a 'pro-white, street-oriented fraternity,' was seeking to recruit 'white New Englanders' who are 'dedicated to defending their lands and their people,' the leaflets said. Irby, who is Black, picked up the small flyers before any of his three children saw them. He’s seen vehicles with Confederate flags buzz by his home in rural Connecticut; at 40, he’s endured plenty of casually racist remarks. His children didn’t need to see these flyers."

These groups are still often running into the law, however. Earlier this week, two members of the Nationalist Social Club were charged with obstructing police during an incident where they were dropping fliers in Providence, Rhode Island.

You can read more here.