FARGO — More than a dozen people showed up with the Louder than Hate event to counter an alleged White Lives Matter rally scheduled for Saturday, May 8, and to speak out against hateful acts occurring around the metro area.
According to public Telegram chats organized by the White Lives Matter North Dakota, a rally was planned for the same day at 9 a.m., but was cancelled late Friday, May 7.
“Just to clarify, there’s no protest planned for May 8th. Originally we were, but due to low turnout at (on) April 11th I decided not to try for one,” wrote the White Lives Matter USA North Dakota chat administrator.
“The reason we are here is because of a group called White Lives Matter, they are trying to organize monthly and thanks to our counter protest they canceled,” said event organizer Vanessa Clark, adding that some members did show up for the April 11 White Lives Matter rally.
“It is good news for us,” Clark said. “Being pro white and white supremacist are the same thing. Black Lives Matter is in no way saying that black lives are superior, but you can read their views in Telegram. They believe white people are entitled to power. They believe white people are entitled by God.”
All organizers and 14 subscribing members went under aliases inside the chat. Other posts inside the chat include how to design banners, which were interspersed with statements about how to keep the white race pure by “not mixing with others outside your race,” and that white people “have a higher IQ than all other races.”
Similar groups in New York City and California announced early Saturday that rallies were cancelled, but in Minnesota, the final post was for everyone to “bring a pistol for legal self defense. If they attack we shoot.”
Other white supremacist messages have recently come in the form of stickers from the Patriot Front, labelled a white supremacist organization by the Anti-Defamation League, which have been posted on college campuses. Additionally, four Patriot Front stickers were found near the gazebo in Island Park since Friday, May 7, and they were ripped down.
Clark also pointed out that last month, the Moorhead Fargo Islamic Center was vandalized as well with red spray paint hate messages, including a swastika at the front door and racial slurs.
Benjamin Stewart Enderle, 22, of Moorhead, was arrested on April 28 and faces felony harassment and criminal damage to property charges. The charges are enhanced because they involve allegations of bias against a protected class, prosecutors said last week.
Police arrested Enderle after a Walmart loss prevention officer looked into red spray paint sales at the retail chain's Dilworth, Minn., location, according to court documents.
Phrases painted on the outside of the mosque included "Death to Islam" and women "can't vote." Nearly 400 members of the community removed the graffiti in less than 2 hours on April 25, and later, local Muslim leaders said they had forgiven the person responsible.
“We came out today to tell them to pack up and go home. This is not the place for you. This is a city of love,” said Avalon Fyreheart, an activist. “Every time we hear about you coming we will be out, whether we number one or 1,000.”
Tracie Wilkie, who is from the Turtle Mountain Reservation, said she came to honor her ancestors, the Anishinaabe and the Dakota people, and to help ensure Fargo is an all-welcoming city.
Clark also challenged city leaders to not give white supremacists a platform during city commissioner meetings. On Monday, May 3, a local person who is known for holding white supremacist beliefs addressed city leaders asking them to apologize for what he considered racial slurs against white people.