Edmonds neighbors take stand against Patriot Front flyers

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    Protesters gather at the corner of 80th Avenue West and 196th Street, part of the area hit by the flyer distribution.

    Spurred by the appearance last weekend of white nationalist flyers in Edmonds yards and driveways, an estimated 50 citizens gathered Monday night to protest hate and divisiveness.

    The flyers — contained in plastic bags weighted down by rocks — were apparently tossed from passing cars sometime Saturday night. They bore the website of Patriot Front USA, a white nationalist group.

    Many protesters brought homemade signs with messages of inclusiveness.

    Monday night’s participants gathered at the intersection of 80th Avenue West and 196th Street Southwest, close to the Maplewood and Seaview neighborhoods, both of which were targeted by the flyer distribution. Ranging in age from senior citizens to schoolchildren, they waved signs at passing motorists, many of whom honked back in enthusiastic support.

    Organized in less than 24 hours, word of the protest spread on Facebook and other social media, and attracted a host of elected and other officials wanting to lend their support and to be part of carrying the message that hate has no place in Edmonds.

    Edmonds City Councilmember Mike Nelson with Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas.

    “It’s important that we all stand up for the neighborhoods in Edmonds,” said Edmonds City Council President Adrienne Fraley-Monillas. “What has been put on people’s doorsteps is absolutely awful. It was a cowardly move. They didn’t do it daylight, didn’t go door to door, just threw it in driveways.”

    Added Edmonds City Councilmember Mike Nelson, who spearheaded the event: “I’m here because we want to send a message that we’re a loving and inclusive community. There’s no place for this in Edmonds. We’re going to stand up to neo-Nazis and anyone else who spreads a message of hate. This is our home, and in our home love wins.”

    Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright (right) came out to lend her support.

    The sentiments were echoed by two other officials: Snohomish County Council Chair Stephanie Wright, who came out to demonstrate “support and love for our community,” and Snohomish County Human Rights Commission Chair and Edmonds School Board member Carin Chase. “Hate has no home here,” Chase stressed.

    Earlier Monday, Edmonds Mayor Dave Earling issued a statement on the City of Edmonds Facebook page calling the messaging in the flyers “totally inappropriate in our community. Edmonds is an inclusive and welcoming community, and messages of intolerance, supremacy, and exclusion are not acceptable in our city,” Earling said.

    You can read the mayor’s full statement here.

    Event participant Heather Damron.

    Even participant Heather Damron said that for her, the issue was personal.

    “Many of my friends and acquaintances were targeted, and they’ve told me how intimidated it made them feel,” she said.  “Free speech is one thing, but going onto someone’s property to spread an intimidating message is another. And even more sinister is that it wasn’t just here. I’ve talked to others I know from as far away as Texas who tell me their neighborhoods were targeted by the same group, many being hit on the same night as we were. Our message is clear: This is not something we will stand for.”

    — Story and photos by Larry Vogel

    21 Replies to “Edmonds neighbors take stand against Patriot Front flyers”

    1. You people just legitimized them. Their local chapter might have about 3 members, but you gave them the response they were soliciting. They are in the business of protesting, often don’t even have jobs or kids to raise. They’ll call in numbers to counter protest, then antifa will throw in (who is just as hateful), and before know it we’re Seattle and Portland with busted windows. The KKK was beat by letting them speak and ignoring them.

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        1. Antifa are fascists, here threatening and menacing a gay minority man in Seattle while carrying assault rifles:
          https://youtu.be/ieFJUwxAEY4

          Here antifa directing Heather Hayer into traffic “to get hit”, again menacing with assault rifles:
          https://youtu.be/v2aPCmuX1lo

          DHS recognises antifa as a domestic terrorist group:
          https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/antifa-domestic-terrorists-us-security-agencies-homeland-security-fbi-a7927881.html

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          1. These people appear to be acting as thugs, but none of them seem to have hatred for any group except Nazis, unlike the people on the other side who are, literal Nazis. Furthermore, Heather had not jumped into traffic, the street where the murder took place was devoid of any vehicles except for the murderers. You keep mentioning Assault rifles, but not a single one of those weapons is an assault rifle. Also, isn’t the Right all about supporting open carry?

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    2. What is your evidence that the KKK was defeated by letting them speak and then ignoring them? They “spoke” by running around at night wearing masks and terrifying mostly Black folks and anti-racist white people, often to the point of murder. Ever heard of lynching? It’s pretty hard to “ignore” someone who is burning a cross on your lawn and trying to break down your door to torture and then hang you from the nearest tree. The KKK was “beat” by brave people infiltrating their ranks, identifying them, and pointing out their inhuman atrocities and philosophies to the world. Believe me, if I thought letting some one speak and then ignoring them would work, you would be my first target of that technique.

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      1. Agreed. And there is also value in “advertising” repugnance at nazi and KKK garbage: there are always some who don’t seem to know about these dreadful people, so to that end demonstrating is a useful part of the fight against bigotry and fear. Those who foolishly wish to ignore the KKK and the nazis in the vain hope they’ll just go away, give them the shadow they need in which to spread their infection.

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      2. Matt is right, citizens of America dismissed and rejected these idiots by allowing them to march and giving them no attention. This happened in the 1960s. There is little to zero KKK influence in America since then. Check the stats.

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        1. To all: I would again ask that people avoid name calling and being disrespectful. Going forward, if you find your comments edited, that is why. And, to that end, I hope everyone who comments here will consider attending the Three Practices event we are sponsoring on Wednesday, Jan. 31 at Edmonds Community College. The goal is to learn how to talk respectfully with those you disagree with. I am looking forward to developing these skills — how about you? More details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/328627427986886/

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      3. In the same way David Koresh was legitimized in the eyes of his followers by FBI tactics that created a self-fulfilling prophesy, nationalists are distributing fliers hoping the Edmonds City Council will organize protests against them. They will likely choose a town like ours and will file for an event permit (like Unite the Right [communists?]). They will get notoriety via public opposition to said event, then antifa (themselves being fascists) will join the fray and we’ll have competing protests between morons that will evolve into violence, right here in Edmonds. This is the playbook. None of us want this, right?

        Clinton, you’re confusing the Democrat KKK with the post confederate Klan that had it’s 15 minutes in the late 60’s. The earlier KKK it’s way with things with little repercussion (they were the Democrat Party). In the 60’s, the Klan was much more esoteric and harbored even more extreme individuals, but murder is illegal and they went to jail for that, not for saying bad things. The KKK won practically all of the challenges to their hate speech, all the way up to SCOTUS. One would think that with the right to hate affirmed by the highest courts, they’d expand, which would be good reason to be afraid of hate speech. Instead their membership was decimated simply by people not wanting to associate with hate, then atrophy – if anything:
        https://constitutioncenter.org/blog/three-supreme-court-cases-involving-the-ku-klux-klan
        https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB121856786326834083

        Ironically the City Council is using rights the KKK fought for. Speech that is intolerant of another group [say Jewish people, say the Patriot Front] is protected speech, adjudicated thanks to the ‘ol Klan. Being able to say hateful things doesn’t translate into the viability of a hateful organization. On the contrary, intolerance of intolerance inadvertently creates more extreme intolerance. People who are on the fringes, who maybe have only one or two things in common with the Patriot Front, are more inclined to reconcile their personal beliefs with those of a larger organization if they see them as a victim of [say] a City-Council-organized protest, [and event permit denial should that be next]. The media is really motivating them.

        Extremists on both sides is fascinating (I imagine that the City Council and Patriot Front are equally intolerant of each other), but I don’t want the windows of my business smashed by LARPer’s. It starts like this, then Communists show with masks and AR-15’s (which is common now in Seattle). We’re next.
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xy4QyvXWiq0

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    3. Besides not wanting a communist verse socialist battle to play out in our town, there is some value added in this for our community via some self-reflection. Joe Rogan and Jonathan Haidt have a great long-form discussion about what would inspire one group of extremists to distribute fliers and another group of extremists to protest it.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2e9VYf9FKHo

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    4. Thank you My Edmonds News and thanks to those who demonstrated. Journalism and democracy at their best! Infection withers in sunlight, and both make decent people aware of threats against democracy and tolerance.

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    5. A free and independent press is one of the main things that keeps us all free. MEN, please feel free to edit or delete anything I have to say. It’s been my experience that, sort of like little kids on the playground, when an angry person starts loosing an argument he often resorts to name calling. A little sense of humor in all this helps a bunch I think. Being called a loser and a genius in the same paragraph gave me a good chuckle. You never know how what you have to say about someone will be received.

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      1. I think Colin was referring to the Klan and [figurative] people who’d push hate as idiots, not activists who protested this morning. Even though this forum is efficient, it can sometimes be ambiguous.

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    6. I really must questions whether “citizens of America dismissed and rejected these idiots by allowing them to march and giving them no attention. This happened in the 1960s. There is little to zero KKK influence in America since then.”

      For a good 75 years the rancid goings-on of the FKK were ignored, and the result was lynching, church burning, segregation, etc. which reached a climax in the 60’s, when some began to resist, and the nation had finally had enough. The politicians began to see that the public demonstrations and press coverage of bigotry had turned equal rights movement into something the majority of Americans supported; equally, publicity about lynchings, etc., turned the stomach of the country. It was not until the swing in public opinion that “brave people infiltrating their ranks, identifying them” took effect, as Mr Wright accurately points out. Press coverage pointed out the abuses and the need for action, and brave people risked their lives to put an end to the KKK as an effective body. People like David Duke tried to keep it alive – and one suspects that many tacitly agreed (and agree?) with him – but public pressure made a comeback in any meaningful degree impossible.

      Closer to our own time, much was the same with the LGBT movement: individuals coming out, exposure of the ignorant hatred and the abuses, publicity and demonstrations around AIDS, well-covered murders and outrageous abuses covered by the press – these are what made the rapid change in public acceptance possible. There are still homophobes out there, just as there are nazis lurking in the shadows – but public pressure and press coverage have made their position untenable, and in the end, hopeless.

      We owe our freedoms to the free press!

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    7. I gotta point out that the Larouche Democrats were very active in this area about 5-7 years ago. They rallied under a large banner of Obama with a Hitler mustache. I thought it was disgusting. They were largely ignored and we haven’t seen them around since . Like the Patriot Front, we would have only legitimized them if we told them that there were no place for them in this town, especially in this fashion. The is the incident the City Council choose to ignore:
      https://myedmondsnews.com/2019/01/edmonds-police-ask-for-publics-help-in-solving-homicide-outside-senior-center/

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    8. In my opinion, the ideology of the KKK has simply morphed into the modern hate groups like David Duke’s Neo Nazis, Skin Heads, Patriot front etc. You have every right to ignore these folks if you want to, that’s your business. Likewise I have every right to protest and speak out against them if I choose to. That’s my business. In the 60’s it was the ACLU that went to the supreme court to fight for the rights of free speech for the KKK. The ACLU wasn’t in favor of hate speech or what the KKK stood for, they were in favor of free speech for all of us as per the Constitution. You tend to do a lot of labeling in the process of making your various arguments (“Rare congregation of Blacks in Edmonds”, “Democrat KKK”, “Larouche Democrats”, “Communist vs Socialist battle”). Most people in the old KKK were Southern Democrats, due to Lincoln, the Civil War and all, but the Democratic Party did not officially sanction the KKK in any history that I have ever read. If I’m wrong I apologize in advance. Similarly the modern Democratic Party has never officially sanctioned the Lyndon LaRouche group that I know of. I’ve already addressed your “Blacks in Edmonds” comment so I won’t dwell on that. Not sure what this Communist vs Socialist thing is all about, so won’t go there either.

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    9. Thank you to council members pictured bravely responding in person. Where is our mayor pictured doing so in something other than a “statement”. Can you do better Mr Mayor?

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    10. Mayor Earling was at the annual state of the city presentation I attended last Fall and did a very good job of answering many questions that were at times rather rudely put to him by some of the attendees. Whatever his faults, ducking out on the tough issues is generally not one of them in my opinion. Hang in there Mr. Mayor.

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