Neo Nazi Skinheads Plan White Power Woodstock
Neo-Nazi skinheads and hard-core racists from across America are planning to descend upon Northern Michigan July 3-6 to attend a NordicFest of white power music. The festival is being advertised nationally on the Internet, much like a Woodstock of the white power movement. Promoters hope that the festival 20 miles south of Traverse City, Michigan will be "the biggest thing that's ever happened in the U.S." "There will be food and beer on site, tattoo booths and white power merchandise with four days of kinship with white people without police interference or protesters in rural Northern Michigan," promises a tape-recorded message from BloodBond Enterprizes of Waters in Northern Michigan. The taped message begins with the salutation "Racial greetings" and ends with "Sieg Heil," the salute to Adolph Hitler.A violent message A posting on the Internet claims that the festival will be held on 40 acres of private property 20 miles south of Traverse City, with camping on-site. Advanced tickets are being sold by mail at $25. Besides the tattoo booth and merchandise, the festival will feature "Kiddie activities" and a "P.O.W. raffle." Speakers from the Ku Klux Klan and Aryan Nations are also anticipated. A barn with a stage is also on the as-yet unknown site in case of rain. David Neumann, a former head of the Michigan Knights of the KKK, says that between 500-700 skinheads and white power music fans are expected to attend. Thus far, more than 175 tickets have been sold, with some as far away as Sweden and Great Britain. Bands lined up for the four-day NordicFest include acts from StormFront Records of Fond Du Lac, Wisconsin, and the recently-busted Resistance Records of Detroit, both of which are purveyors of racial hate music. Songs by white power bands typically condemn blacks, Jews, gays, immigrants and minorities in the harshest terms, advocating violence or "boot parties" in which gangs of skinheads stomp on their victims. Musically, the bands from Stormfront and Resistance Records range from punk rock to heavy metal, with themes invoking racial purity, nordic gods, the rites of Tuetonic barbarians, and white separatism. "We define ourselves as white separatists, which expresses desire for the establishment of a white homeland in the United States," reads a statement from Resistance Records. "As far-fetched as this notion may seem to the uninitiated, we believe that it is a sound political solution to the racial tension in the U.S. We seek to form alliances with members of any race that support racial separatism." Bands scheduled for the NordicFest include Intimidation One of Portland, Oregon, Aggravated Assault, Blue Eyed Devils, Max Resist and the Hooligans, No Alibi, and White Wolf. "More bands will be added later," promises the taped message, which requests that fans send a self-addressed, stamped envelope for tickets.Advertised on the Internet "This festival is being advertised on multiple postings on the Internet, with the claim that it's being held 20 miles from Traverse City," says Mike Weber, a freelance journalist, who with his partner Mimi Morris are working on a documentary of the white power movement. A former reporter for Long Island's Newsday and the Columbus Guardian, Weber tipped the Express to NordicFest concert postings on various white power Web sites. Most recently, Weber and Morris reported on a string of more than a dozen bank robberies committed by the Aryan Republican Army in Ohio. Members of the ARA have been on trial for the past year in Columbus, Ohio, unveiling a web of connections which may extend to Tim McVeigh and the Oklahoma City Bombing. Weber and Morris stumbled onto the NordicFest while researching a similar "Tribute to Adolph Hitler" concert which was scuttled by public outcry last week in Buffalo, New York. Scheduled for Saturday, April 18 to celebrate Hitler's birthday, the five-band concert was canceled at the Showplace Theater in Buffalo, denying fans a chance to see Bound for Glory and Aggravated Assault, two of the top groups in the white power movement. Weber speculates that the cancelled concert in Buffalo will mean a greater emphasis on the NordicFest in Northern Michigan.Tough Times for Racists These are hard times for the white power music genre in general. On April 9, armed officers in bulletproof vests from the Michigan State Police Treasury Division stormed a home west of Pontiac and seized the files of Resistance Records. Resistance Records, which distributes the music of 12 white power bands, was busted for operating without a license and not paying taxes, according to a State Police official, quoted in The Detroit News. Founded in 1993, Resistance Records has reportedly sold 50,000 CD's of music by bands such as Nordic Thunder, Berserker, Aggravated Assault and RaHoWa (short for Racial Holy War). The company claims to have a magazine circulation of 19,000 copies. How the arrest will affect the July 3-6 NordicFest remains to be seen.