Neo-Nazis Rally in Wisconsin Sparks Outrage

( – A neo-Nazi march was held in Madison, Wisconsin last weekend, leading to condemnation from local officials.

Approximately 20 people wearing red and black with masked faces carried Nazi flags from the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus to the state capitol. Most of the shirts said “Blood Tribe” on the back, and members of the group performed the Nazi salute, a gesture used by the Nazi party to show allegiance to their leader, Adolf Hitler.

According to witnesses, members of the group shouted things like “Israel is not our friend” and “there will be blood.” Allegedly, they also shouted racial slurs at passersby. Videos shared on social media show the group stopping in front of the fourth-oldest synagogue building in the United States, Gates of Heaven.

The Madison Police Department was on-site to monitor the protest, but said the actions of the group were within lawful free speech parameters. A spokesperson for the MPD, Stephanie Fryer, said “it’s First Amendment rights” whether one agreed with the group or not.

One of the protesters appeared to be former U.S. Marine Christopher Pohlhaus, who is a leader of the Blood Tribe group, based on photos of him and his facial tattoos.

Many politicians and local officials from Wisconsin condemned the group. Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers, a Democrat, called the group and their actions “repulsive and disgusting,” saying he denounced the group. Lisa Subeck, a Democratic State Representative who is also Jewish, called the group’s presence in Madison “alarming” and that something people should be concerned about, especially after the rise in anti-Semitic speech and activity following the ongoing war between Israel and Hamas that began in early October.

The executive director of Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice, Rabbi Bonnie Margulis, said people in Madison often have a “false sense of security” due to the city’s reputation as a liberal enclave and said we live in “scary” times. Her advice was to counter messages of hate by “leading with love.”

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