The tiny town of Leith, North Dakota is bracing itself for some unwanted guests – a busload of white supremacists bent on founding a community based on the tenets of National Socialism – the Guardian reported.
The town's mayor, Ryan Schock, told the Guardian that "people are very concerned. They do not want people to come to this town who have hate in them."
The neo-Nazi laden bus is being led by Jeff Schoep, the 'commander' of the American National Socialist Movement (NSM). According to the Guardian's report, the group is making its way from Detroit to Leith to hold a town-hall meeting, a press conference and of course to "plant the seeds of National Socialism in North Dakota" – as Schoep put it.
The supremacists will be met by a group of anti-racist activists. "We cannot accept this racist hatred they are bringing here – Leith is in crisis and is crying out for help," one of the organizers of the anti-racist group told the Gaurdian.
A town whose population numbers only 24, Leith's neo-Nazi problems began some two years ago when Paul Craig Cobb joined its small ranks. Cobb began buying up land around Leith, however, unbeknownst to Leith's other residents, Cobb was in fact a known neo-Nazi, wanted in Canada for spreading hatred, and his real estate endeavor was motivated by his desire to establish a neo-Nazi community.
Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center told the Guardian that "Cobb has probably gone further than anyone before him in pursuing this white supremacist dream."
Allying with the National Socialist Movement and White Aryan Resistance (WAR), Cobb began transferring some of the land to Schoep, April Gaede – founder of the neo-Nazi group National Vanguard – and to Tom Metzger – an ex-Ku Klux Klan grand wizard.
The public attention is likely to hinder Cobb's ability to further buy up parts of the town, but residents are not leaving matters up to fate. The town has founded a legal fund to help battle Cobb's move, in addition to attempting to pay Cobb to leave and putting into action a legal move that would condemn his home.
Schoep blamed "far left extremists" of attempting to push Cobb from his Leith home, but he assures the Guardian that "Craig Cobb is not alone … and will not be driven out, or forced to leave. Legal paperwork is being drafted to insure the civil rights of Mr Cobb, and other new residents of Leith will not be violated."