What can you do?

Some have argued that local activists are creating a problem where none exists, but the threat is real. White supremacy and white nationalism are on the rise globally, not just in the United States.1https://www.factcheck.org/2019/03/the-facts-on-white-nationalism/Hate crimes domestically have increased for the third consecutive year, according to the FBI.2“Hate Crimes Increase for the Third Consecutive Year, F.B.I. Reports” https://www.nytimes.com/2018/11/13/us/hate-crimes-fbi-2017.htmlThe individuals in this case were newly recruited in the wake of Charlottesville, and rapidly came into contact with dangerous people. The term “Neo-Nazi,” which some have challenged, accurately describes the group. IE/AmIM was founded as the “Nationalist Youth Front,” worked together with the “Nationalist Front” (which includes organizations like the “National Socialists” and the “Traditionalist Workers Party”) to organize Unite the Right, and professes values derived from the original Nazi movement.

We are not seeking to restrain anyone’s free speech. There are other ways to fight Neo-Nazism. Despite how dangerous these people are, they can be deterred. Case in point, Nolan Brewer knew how to make homemade bombs and napalm, and he intended to use them, but he was deterred by a simple security camera. If we take Neo-Nazism seriously now, we can prevent the movement from organizing to such a level where simpler measures are ineffective. We need to send them a message that we as a community will not tolerate their activities. 

The City’s current approach to the issue is unsatisfactory: Market officials are not taking action on harassment complaints filed with them that refer to incidents taking place within the market. They should be reevaluating their policies about harassment and conduct in the marketplace. Many people in local government have professed on social media highly uninformed views of both white supremacy and the First Amendment, misinforming the public about the issue. A quote from our market’s director Marcia Veldman and from an affiliate of the IU Maurer School of Law were cited by in “The National Vanguard” in support of their views. Finally, City officials have characterized episodes of actual harassment as “feelings” of harassment, language that misleads the public about the nature of the events that have transpired within the market. All of these factors escalate the potential danger of this situation. Simply by asking officials to refrain from enabling white nationalism by educating themselves more fully on the issue, we can prevent future harm. So here are several ways you can take a stand against Neo-Nazism:

  • Boycott Schooner Creek Farms
  • Help flyer at the market to raise awareness about the boycott
  • Write Marcia Veldman at the Bloomington Community Farmers’ Market
    • Urge the BFMC to pursue the harassment complaints that have been filed against SCF and their affiliates by being more transparent about these reports and investigating whether Farmer’s Market policy can be updated to address them: farmersmarket@bloomington.in.gov
    • Ask the Market to change the rules about informational flyers. The Farmer’s Market does not currently allow people to hand out informational flyers in the market, and we believe that it should.
    • Ask that all vendors be required to display their business’s name clearly.
  • Write Mayor John Hamilton and City Council to ask the City to establish a committee to investigate the presence of white supremacist organizations in our community
  • Write your City Council representative and ask them about what steps they are taking to address this issue: https://bloomington.in.gov/council 
  • Write a Letter to the Editor about the threat of Neo-Nazism in our community
  • Attend the community meeting on this issue on July 11th at 6:00pm in City Hall 
  • Share this report
  • Share “No Space for Hate” events on Facebook
  • Follow “No Space for Hate” on Instagram
  • Stop by the “No Space for Hate” table at the Market and grab one of our stickers to wear
  • Make informational memes about IE/AmIM for “No Space for Hate” to share
  • Write us at nospace4hate@protonmail.com for more information on how to get involved

References & Footnotes   [ + ]