Saying they were concerned about the rights of white people, five demonstrators gathered in Kalispell Saturday evening on the sidewalk next to Depot Park, with one man waving a flag for the Creativity Movement and others holding hand-lettered signs at the cars passing by, which occasionally honked in support. Though small, the Kalispell rally was in line with what the Montana Human Rights Network has identified as “an upswing in white supremacist activity recently” in the state.
A 20-year-old Kalispell woman who would only identify herself as “Kat,” and who held a sign reading “Affirmative Action = Racism,” said she organized the demonstration to show, “how everyone has their own rights but the whites don’t.”
“If we say something about us being white we’re automatically racist and I don’t think that’s right,” she added. “Blacks have their entire month.”
A few feet away, another man held a sign reading, “It’s not illegal to be white…yet.” Another woman held a sign reading, “Communism is Globalism.”
Next to her a man wearing a tie and wool hat waved the flag for the Creativity Movement, a group identified by the Montana Human Rights Network as, “a white supremacist group promoting a racist ideology.”
The man with the flag also declined to give his name, but said he was a member of the Montana Creativity’s Movement’s Kalispell chapter, which has a membership of less than five.
“It’s designed around the survival, the advancement and the expansion of the white race,” he said. “We believe that the white race is nature’s finest, just from looking through history at the different civilizations that have existed.”
The other demonstrators interviewed said they were not part of the Creativity Movement, but were affiliated with other groups they declined to name.
Travis McAdam, executive director of the Montana Human Rights Network, who monitored the rally’s organization on the white nationalist Web site, Stormfront.org, called it “pretty significant” that five people showed up to demonstrate on a cool, blustery day.
“The fact that they were able to turn out more than one or two people is concerning,” McAdam said. “They’re probably pretty happy with the turnout they had.”
In September the Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported on an increase in Creativity Movement literature and graffiti in Bozeman, with a national leader for the Illinois-based group quoted as saying as many as six or seven new chapters had recently sprung up in Montana.
Billings teenager Allen Goff, an organizer of a Creativity Movement chapter there, currently faces charges for allegedly shooting another teen in the leg, though it’s unclear whether the shooting was racially motivated.
At the Kalispell rally, the man carrying the flag disputed the characterization of the Creativity Movement as a hate group, saying, “We don’t hate people, we just love our race.”
But McAdam said the literature upon which the Creativity Movement is based, like, “The White Man’s Bible,” by its founder, Ben Klassen, espouse a racist ideology.
“Most of the folks who say that, who are part of these groups, know that it’s a lie,” McAdam said. “Within the Creativity Movement there is no doubt, if you read the foundational texts of the group, they are a white supremacy group.”
“A history of violence has followed the Creativity Movement around since its founding in the 1970s,” McAdam added.
On the Web site for the Montana Creativity Movement, photos show men with shaved heads, often posing with guns and saluting its flag, which is red with a large “W” that stands for the “White Race.” Other photos show music concerts on stages flanked by the Creativity Movement flag, along with swastikas and paintings of white-robed Ku Klux Klansmen. Many of the photos are captioned with the term, “RaHoWa,” which stands for “Racial Holy War.”
In her posting on Stormfront.org notifying readers of the Kalispell rally, Kat urged anyone showing up not to show swastikas.
“We are going to keep the Swazis out of it,” she wrote. “This is only our first one of many to come. We are going to start showing people we are here without bringing in the Nazi stuff.”
At the Kalispell rally, the man with the flag handed out a flier explaining, “we believe that what is good for the White Race is the highest virtue, and what is bad for the White Race is the ultimate sin.” The literature on the flier is attributed to Matt Hale, the second national leader of the Creativity Movement, currently serving a 40-year sentence for soliciting an undercover FBI agent to kill a federal judge.
Standing on the sidewalk holding a sign written in Nordic runes, Brian Gray said he moved to Kalispell a year ago from Pittsburgh because the Flathead “is still a decent culture.”
“I’m concerned that our society is degrading into a Gomorrah or Sodom type debacle,” Gray said. “We were a nation of morals and now we’re a nation of immorality.”
When asked why he was holding a sign written in a foreign language, Gray replied, “if anybody can read it, then I want them to.”
According to several Web sites with alphabetical translations of Nordic and Celtic symbols, Gray’s sign said: “(expletive) off my favorite brother … I’m not going anywhere!”
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