OAN’s Brooke Mallory
5:11 PM – Monday, November 20, 2023
Authorities from the University of Wisconsin–Madison as well as state and municipal law enforcement agencies quickly denounced the disturbing weekend demonstration that brought a neo-Nazi march to Madison, Wisconsin.
Officials reported that on Saturday, a group of around 20 individuals wearing red and black clothing and masks, brandishing large swastika flags while hailing the “Hitler salute,” made their way from State Street, close to the UW-Madison campus, to the state capitol.
“The presence of swastika flags and other Nazi symbols in our midst, along with hateful white supremacist rhetoric, is disgusting and repugnant,” said University of Wisconsin-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin in a statement after the march.
“I condemn the actions of this small, hateful, fringe group that has no ties to our community. And in the strongest possible way, I condemn antisemitism and acts of hate,” she continued.
The marchers went through the city’s business and residential districts before congregating at the capitol, where they formed a line and made Nazi salutes while yelling racist rhetoric into a bullhorn.
Madison Police stated in a Facebook post that several individuals had reported them to 9-1-1 and that they were actively monitoring the group.
“The Madison Police Department does not support hateful rhetoric. The department has an obligation to protect First Amendment rights of all,” the agency said.
On social media, images and videos of the march were shared extensively. The group StopAntisemitism stated in a post on X, the platform formally known as Twitter, that among the attendees were members of the White nationalist “Blood Tribe.”
The Anti-Defamation League lists “normalizing the swastika, ushering in a resurgence of Nazi ideas, and ultimately building a White ethnostate occupied, controlled and led by ‘Aryans’” as some of the hate group’s objectives.
Both Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway (D-Wis.) and Governor Tony Evers (Wis.) criticized the march in sharp terms.
“Hate has no home in Madison, and we must not let it take root here,” Rhodes-Conway said in a post on X.
“Together, we can continue to build a strong community with strong democratic institutions that respect First Amendment rights while embracing and valuing diversity,” the mayor wrote.
Evers released a statement in which he described the sight of neo-Nazis disseminating the vile chants while walking through Madison and in the shadow of the state building as “disturbing” and “truly revolting.”
“Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, anti-Semitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate,” Evers said. “It’s repulsive and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest terms possible.”
Some skeptical and conspiratorial social media users accused the marchers of being connected to the FBI, since they were “not openly carrying any weapons” and were “hiding their faces with masks,” which is not typical of out-and-proud White supremacists.
A rise in anti-Semitic violence has increased since Israel launched its military campaign against the Palestine-based Islamic terrorist group Hamas in retaliation of the surprise attack on Israel on October 7th that claimed 1,200 Jewish lives, the majority of them civilians.
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