Neo-Nazi Leader Arrested in Boston After Protesting LGBTQ Event
The leader of a known Neo-Nazi group was placed into custody today by Boston Police following a demonstration by the group in Jamaica Plain. The protest by NSC-131 took place outside the historic Loring Greenough House where residents had gathered for a children’s drag queen story hour, an event in which individuals in drag read to children. The white supremacist demonstrators shouted anti-LGBTQ slogans and taunted counter-demonstrators who had gathered across the street amid a heavy police presence. Among those arrested was NSC-131 leader, Chris Hood, on charges of disturbing the peace according to Boston police. He was handcuffed and transported to the West Roxbury precinct. Two other individuals arrested today identify as anti-fascists. They too were charged with disturbing the peace. Reports of injuries during the protest and counter protest were not confirmed by GBH News.
Hours after the protest, residents stood outside the Greenough House to show support for their LGBTQ neighbors. “We’re out here making sure that people hear us,” said a woman named Nicole, who declined to give her surname for fear of a right-wing backlash. She said “rage brought me here today.” Another counter-protester, Courtney Ignace, noted the stepped-up street activity by right wing extremists in the region. “Yeah. I mean, I guess they’re getting more organized, so we have to organize against them.”
The protest by extremists was the second time in recent weeks that a group identified as neo-fascist by the Anti-Defamation League has staged demonstrations in the Boston area. The far-right group Patriot Front rallied here on the 4th of July weekend. Suffolk County District Attorney Kevin Hayden noted in a statement that “The presence of white supremacists at a Jamaica Plain book reading today, like their downtown Boston march earlier this month, is at once a disgrace and a warning.”
The GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting has been tracking these groups for nearly a year. Their activities in the Boston area accelerated following the January 6 attempted insurrection in Washington, in which members of NSC-131 and Patriot Front were present. The ADL’s Center on Extremism has identified dozens of members of known hate groups that took part in the attack on the nation’s capital.
NSC-131 and Patriot Front are rivals within the white supremacist movement and have staged similar events in New England in the hope of generating publicity for their cause. The groups collude within the so-called White Lives Matter movement. Hood was once a member of Patriot Front but formed NSC-131 as a more hardline and explicit fascist organization.
Boston Mayor Michelle Wu and US Attorney Rachael Rollins have vowed to crack down on white supremacist groups in the area. Rollins has proposed that white supremacist groups be included in local and regional street gang data bases, much like the Crips, MS-13 and the Latin Kings.
This story was originally published by GBH News, a partner of the New England News Collaborative.