Neo-Nazi marchers descended on Madison, Wisconsin, for a twisted weekend rally that drew swift condemnation from state and local police and University of Wisconsin-Madison officials.
A group of about 20 people wearing red and black clothing and masks, waving Nazi flags and giving Nazi salutes set off from State Street Close to the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus Saturday to the state Capitol, police said.
“The presence of swastikas and other Nazi symbols and hateful white supremacist rhetoric among us is disgusting and disgusting,” UW-Madison Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said in a statement after the unannounced march. Disgusted.”
“I condemn the actions of this small, hate-filled fringe group that has no connection to our community. I condemn anti-Semitism and acts of hate in the strongest possible way,” she said.
The marchers made their way through the city’s residential and commercial districts before gathering at the Capitol, where they lined up and shouted slogans through loudspeakers while giving Nazi salutes.
Madison police posted on Facebook that they are actively monitoring the group and many people have called 911 to report it.
“The Madison Police Department does not support hate speech. The department has an obligation to protect the First Amendment rights of all people,” the agency said.
Videos and photos of the march were widely shared on social media. The “Stop Anti-Semitism” organization posted on X that the participants included members of a white supremacist organization called “Blood Tribe.”
arrive anti-defamation leagueOne of the hate group’s goals is to “normalize the swastika, usher in a resurgence of Nazi ideology, and ultimately establish a white nation-state occupied, controlled, and led by ‘Aryans.'”
The march drew strong condemnation from Gov. Tony Evers and Madison Mayor Satya Lord-Conway.
“Hate has no place in Madison and we must not let it take hold here,” Rod Conway said in a statement. Post on X.
“Working together, we can continue to build a strong community with strong democratic institutions that respects First Amendment rights while embracing and valuing diversity,” the mayor wrote.
Evers said in a statement that the sight of neo-Nazis marching through Madison and spreading hateful messages in the shadow of the state Capitol was “disturbing” and “truly offensive.”
“Let us be clear: Neo-Nazis, anti-Semitism and white supremacy have no place in Wisconsin,” Evers said. “We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hatred.” is disgusting and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest possible way.”
The march comes against the backdrop of growing nationwide Calls for anti-Semitic violenceThe number has risen sharply since Israel began military action against the Palestinian terror group Hamas in retaliation for a surprise attack on Israel on October 7 that killed 1,200 Jews, mostly civilians.