Group that protested against Providence Library carrying Nazi flags growing


The group carrying a Nazi flag that disrupted a reading of the “Communist Manifesto” in Providence last week has grown in size and become more active in recent months, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

“We have seen NSC-131 grow steadily over the past six months, both in number and frequency of occurrences,” said Shellie Burgman, Northeast Division Communications Strategy Director for Anti- Defamation League.

Meanwhile, the Red Ink Community Library in Providence, which hosted the reading, is planning a presentation Sunday on “How to fend off fascists” after “two dozen neo-Nazis attempted to violently disrupt a reading circle” at the library on the 21st of February.

What is NSC-131?

According to the ADL, NSC-131, or the Nationalist Social Club, is “a neo-Nazi group with small, self-governing regional chapters in the United States and abroad,” including Rhode Island.

“Members of the NSC see themselves as soldiers at war against a hostile Jewish-controlled system that deliberately plots the extinction of the white race,” the ADL states on its website. The group “espouses racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance through the Internet, propaganda broadcasts and the use of graffiti”, says the ADL.

In response to an investigation, the ADL noted about six incidents in recent months where the group traveled to Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New Hampshire to protest and spread its message. Their overview does not say anyone was assaulted during the incidents.

The Anti-Defamation League estimates that the Nationalist Social Club has 30 to 40 members “divided among” different chapters in New England, including a chapter identified as “Ocean State 131”. The frequency of the group’s public events has generally increased from about once to twice a month, according to the ADL.

The Providence Incident: Carrying the Nazi flag, demonstrators disrupt the reading of the “Communist Manifesto”

Even before disrupting the reading, members of NSC-131 allegedly posted stickers and wrote graffiti outside the Red Ink Community Library, according to library manager David Raileanu.

Red Ink, which is in the Mount Hope neighborhood, describes itself as a nonprofit library, reading room, and organizing space. Its website says, “We believe in developing, informing and empowering a prominent and energetic working class.

Nationalist Social Club incidents around New England

According to the ADL, the NSC has actively protested and taken its message to different parts of New England, including demonstrations at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston demanding preferential treatment based on race. During these protests, most recently on January 24, members held up a banner that read “B&W Hospital Kills White People.”

On Nov. 27, members of Ocean State 131 held a “flash demo” outside a Black Lives Matter community center in Pawtucket, according to the ADL.

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A photograph obtained by the ADL shows a group of at least 10 masked people, all of whom appear to be men, outside a building that bears the Black Lives Matter African Innovation Center sign. They display a banner with a logo reading “131” and the words “anti-communist” and “anti-capitalist”.

Red Ink Community Library incident

On February 21, the Red Ink Community Library was holding a reading of the “Communist Manifesto” when the NSC “performed a flash demonstration” outside, according to the ADL.

“NSC members can be seen in a Twitter video shouting through the windows of the library,” the ADL said in a report on the event. “Another video shows members waving the Nazi salute and shouting ‘white power’.”

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Responding Providence police saw 15 to 20 people “standing outside and banging the front window” of the library with their hands, police said in a report.

Video taken from inside the library and posted to Twitter shows masked protesters chanting and holding at least one large red, white and black flag displaying a Nazi symbol.

The demonstrators left when the police arrived. No one has been arrested. No one was hurt either, but Raileanu described the incident as “very scary”.

The library has had no problems since, according to Raileanu. In fact, he said, following the unrest, “a lot of neighbors” visited and showed their support.

With an image of a red fist smashing through a swastika, Red Ink’s website references the February 21 disruption and announces Sunday’s discussion. It says “Join the Party for Rhode Island Socialism and Liberation to hear from the people who were at the event and discuss what we can do to fight back and organize against fascism today.”

Raileanu does not expect any disruptions on Sunday. He said, “I don’t think they plan to come back.”

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At Twitter: @jgregoryperry

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