Wednesday, June 27, 2018

The mayor of tiny North Dakota town shaken by neo-Nazi wants to dissolve city government

Nazi fascism hate racism xenophobia politics white supremacy immigration

For the few ranchers and farmers who call it home, the town of Leith, N.D., is a quiet, friendly place. With a population of about 20 people, it is a prairie town of unpaved roads, wheat fields and big sky. Its main landmark was once a railroad, which no longer passes through the town. Its nearest major city — Bismarck — is more than 70 miles away.

But about five years ago, Leith made national headlines, its residents terrorized by a white supremacist intent on taking over the town. The bearded new neighbor, Craig Cobb, moved into town discreetly, having fled Canada facing charges of promoting hate. But he had a plan — to turn Leith into an enclave of white supremacy.

Cobb began buying up cheap properties in the town and posting messages on neo-Nazi online forums, inviting fellow white supremacists to move to the town. In 2013, he had given lots to a former grand dragon of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, and another to the founder of a white supremacist website, the Bismarck Tribune reported. Nazi flags began appearing in Leith, and Cobb slowly plotted to take control of the city council.

News reporters began catching up with his plans, and the local residents began trying to thwart them. In September 2013, hundreds of people from the surrounding states descended on the town to protest a visit from Jeff Schoep, the leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement.

Two months later, after Cobb found his house vandalized, he and a fellow Nazi-supporter set out on an armed patrol through Leith, threatening residents.  (more...)


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