State and university officials condemn a “disgusting and despicable” neo-Nazi rally in Madison, Wisconsin.
Last weekend’s hateful event quickly sparked public outcry from many after about 20 people dressed in red and black and wearing masks, brandishing large Nazi garbs and making Nazi salutes as they walked from a location near the UW-Madison campus marched to the state capital.
“The presence of swastika flags and other Nazi symbols in our midst, as well as the hateful rhetoric of white supremacists, is abhorrent and repugnant,” Jennifer Mnookin, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, said in a statement after the unannounced march New York Post.
“I condemn the actions of this small, hateful fringe group that has no connection to our community. And I condemn anti-Semitism and acts of hate in the strongest possible terms,” she said.
The group marched through residential and commercial areas of the city before gathering in the capital, where they stood and shouted slogans through a megaphone while making Nazi salutes.
The group is being actively monitored, Madison police said in a Facebook post.
“Madison Police do not support hateful rhetoric. The department is committed to protecting the First Amendment rights of all,” the agency said.
Videos and photos of the march were widely shared on social media. The organization StopAntisemitism said in a post on social media site X that participants included members of a white supremacist group called the Blood Tribe.
According to the Anti-Defamation League, one of the hate organization’s goals is to “normalize the swastika, initiate a resurgence of Nazi ideas, and ultimately establish a white ethnostate occupied, controlled and led by ‘Aryans.’
Gov. Tony Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway were among the many who spoke out against the group.
“Hate has no home in Madison, and we cannot allow it to gain a foothold here,” Rhodes-Conway said in a post on X.
“Together we can continue to build a strong community with strong democratic institutions that respect First Amendment rights while embracing and valuing diversity,” the mayor wrote.
Evers called the sight of neo-Nazis marching through Madison “disturbing” and “truly disgusting.”
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