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Local, state officials condemn neo-Nazi march in Madison

by Ruth Conniff, Wisconsin Examiner
November 19, 2023

About 20 neo-Nazis marched up State Street from the UW-Madison campus to the Capitol on Saturday and gathered at James Madison Park in front of the Gates of Heaven synagogue, a historic 19th-century building run by the city parks department.

“To see neo-Nazis marching in our streets and neighborhoods and in the shadow of our State Capitol building spreading their disturbing, hateful messages is truly revolting,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement Saturday. “Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate. It’s repulsive and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest terms possible.”

The marchers, dressed in red shirts with “Blood Tribe” printed on the back wore black face masks and carried swastika flags. At the Capitol, they reportedly chanted “Israel is not our friend” and “there will be blood” and yelled racial epithets at passers by. Christopher Pohlhaus, a  Maine-based former U.S. Marine turned white supremacist leader who founded the group was identified as a participant in the Madison march. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Blood Tribe “is a growing neo-Nazi group that claims to have chapters across the United States and Canada.”

The ADL web page on the group states:

Blood Tribe members are followers of Christopher Pohlhaus, whose white supremacist beliefs include elements of Esoteric Hitlerism (which exalts Hitler as a deity) and Wotanism, a variant of Norse Paganism.Blood Tribe presents itself as a hardcore white supremacist group and rejects white supremacists who call for softer “optics.”Blood Tribe members emphasize hyper-masculinity; the group does not allow female members.Blood Tribe sees themselves as both the last remaining bulwark against enemies of the white race and the only path to a white ethnostate.Since becoming a membership organization in 2021, Blood Tribe has been increasingly active, holding anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations and private gatherings.

In addition to Evers, Wisconsin officials including UW Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, State Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin issued statements condemning the march. 

I am horrified that a group of neo-nazis marched on the State Capitol in Madison today.

Their presence in our city is utterly repugnant.

We at UW-Madison roundly condemn antisemitism and all forms of hate.https://t.co/Ou5Jm0WdQ5

— Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin (@uwchancellor) November 18, 2023

This has no place in Wisconsin.

At a time when we are seeing disturbing spikes in antisemitism, it is more important than ever to denounce this hate in no uncertain terms. https://t.co/QLSaajVoVo

— Sen. Tammy Baldwin (@SenatorBaldwin) November 18, 2023

Well said, @SenatorBaldwin.

Hate has no home here.

These despicable extremists do not speak for the people of Madison, Wisconsin, or the United States. I strongly condemn this blatant showcase of antisemitism. Our community stands resolute against such bigotry. https://t.co/NXrkaCZUWk

— Rep. Mark Pocan (@RepMarkPocan) November 18, 2023

This group and others like it are trying to normalize hatred, racism and antisemitism. We must not let them succeed.

— Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (@SatyaForMadison) November 18, 2023

The presence of Neo-Nazi’s in downtown Madison today is chilling.

I condemn this march in the strongest possible terms. This hatred is not welcome in Madison and will not be tolerated. https://t.co/zTwA1AxzYe

— Senator Melissa Agard 🌻 (@SenatorAgard) November 18, 2023

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Wisconsin Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Wisconsin Examiner maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Ruth Conniff for questions: info@wisconsinexaminer.com. Follow Wisconsin Examiner on Facebook and Twitter.

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