ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

White nationalist graffiti pops up in pedestrian tunnel in south Fargo

The graffiti in the tunnel frequented by families touts the Patriot Front, a white nationalist hate group.

White supremacist graffiti is seen in a Fargo pedestrian tunnel
Graffiti from the Patriot Front is seen in a pedestrian tunnel under I-94 at Ninth Street South in Fargo. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Patriot Front as a white nationalist hate group.
Robin Huebner / The Forum
We are part of The Trust Project.

FARGO — Graffiti touting a white supremacy group has littered a popular pedestrian tunnel in south Fargo.

Red, white and blue stenciled signs for Patriot Front popped up recently in the pathway that runs underneath Interstate 94 at Ninth Street South.

Sean Bourke of Fargo, who was walking through the tunnel with his son and dog on Wednesday, Aug. 3, said he first noticed the graffiti on the previous Saturday.

“If it’s white supremacy, you gotta get anything that’s hate-related out,” Bourke said.

Known as the Lincoln Tunnel, it’s located just north of Lincoln Elementary School and connects neighborhoods that lie north and south of I-94.

ADVERTISEMENT

Tom Smith, owner of Great Northern Bicycle Company, said he used to go through it about 10 times a week when he was an avid runner.

Smith said he got permission about 15 years ago from city and state transportation officials to hose down and do maintenance in the tunnel because it would fill up with mud from time to time.

“That little piece of tunnel kind of feels like home and (now) feels like it's invaded a little bit,” he said.

Fargo police received a report Sunday, July 31, about the graffiti in question in the pedestrian tunnel in the 2100 block of Ninth Street South, according to a department email.

A police report was made and photos were taken, but there are no suspects at this time, police said, and the Fargo Park District was notified about the graffiti for removal.

Red and blue graffiti for Patriot Front appears in a Fargo bike tunnel
Graffiti from the Patriot Front is seen in a pedestrian tunnel under I-94 at Ninth Street South in Fargo. The Southern Poverty Law Center describes Patriot Front as a white nationalist hate group.
Robin Huebner / The Forum

The nonprofit Southern Poverty Law Center describes Patriot Front as a white nationalist hate group that broke off from Vanguard America following the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

The SPLC website says Patriot Front “focuses on theatrical rhetoric and activism that can be easily distributed as propaganda for its chapters across the country.”

In June, the Red Raven Espresso Parlor, formerly located in downtown Fargo, was vandalized with white nationalist graffiti and stickers. One sticker had the words Patriot Front on it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Also in June, 31 people associated with Patriot Front were arrested near a Pride parade in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Dressed in uniform and their faces covered in white cloth, they were charged with conspiracy to riot.

Over the Fourth of July weekend, more than 100 members of Patriot Front marched in Boston, carrying flags, riot shields and signs reading “Reclaim America,” according to a recent Washington Post article.

Smith said he hopes the Fargo community will work together to keep white supremacists out.

“That lives under the rug and when you… lift up the rug and shine light on it, it scurries away, one hopes,” Smith said.

Citizens who witness graffiti or vandalism are encouraged to file a police report immediately, police said.

Reports can be submitted online at FargoPolice.com/DORS or by calling the non-emergency line at 701-235-4493.

Related Topics: FARGOCRIME AND COURTS
Huebner is a 35+ year veteran of broadcast and print journalism in Fargo-Moorhead.
What to read next
Josey Balenger joined the museum as its executive director on Aug. 1.
Three people and two cats living in the house got out safely, stated a Fargo Fire Department press release.
The Fargo Public School Board has received an abundance of attention locally and nationally about its Aug. 9 decision to not recite the Pledge of Allegiance prior to board meetings.
One lane along 13th Avenue South in Fargo will close between 17th Street South and 21st Street South on Monday, Aug. 15. The closure will allow road crews to perform street surface repairs.