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On April 25 in downtown St. Louis, a rally by Aryan Nations members and others to “Free Gary Yarbrough” met the determined resistance of the local Anti-Racist Collective.  The Anti-Racist activists gathered in force beforehand, near the place the Aryans would rally.  In unison they carried “Black Lives Matter” signs and conveyed a strong message, much to the consternation of the Aryan types.

The Aryans wanted to rally in support of getting Gary Yarbrough released from prison, and Yarbrough’s wife Susan—who lives in Louisiana—was present; and obviously one of the main organizers.

Gary Yarbrough was recruited to the Aryan Nations in the late 1970s, after he left prison in Arizona.  In 1983 he joined a small clandestine group that was called variously: The Order, The Bruder Schweigen, or the Silent Brotherhood.  It eventually grew to over 40, and included National Alliance cadre, Aryan Nations members, Klansmen, Covenant Sword and Arm of the Lord soldiers, and men who had once been active in the Posse Comitatus.  They began robbing banks and armored cars, and then transferring the surplus to white supremacist leaders. They committed counterfeiting, bombings and murder in the name of creating a “white bastion” in the Pacific Northwest. Yarbrough was active in the center of the fight—although he never killed anyone, he did carry weapons during armed robberies.  He was sentenced in Boise after he was captured, and the sentenced to 60 years in prison at a 1985 racketeering trial in Seattle.

Susan Yarbrough has started a petition demand his release, and has held protests in other cities.  IREHR has already covered the “Free Yarbrough” rally in London. The Aryans concluded that their St. Louis rally “was a still a huge success,” even though “counter-protestors would not even give us a chance to speak.”

The Anti-Racists, however, threw the Aryans’ rally off-message.  Less was said by them about Gary Yarbrough, and more was yelled in response to the Anti-Racists.  When the Anti-Racists chanted “Black Lives Matter,” the Aryans responded “No, they don’t.”

It was all a grand success for the Anti-Racist Collective in St. Louis.

Leonard Zeskind

Author Leonard Zeskind

is founder of IREHR. For almost four decades, he has been a leading authority on white nationalist political and social movements. He is the author of Blood and Politics: The History of White Nationalism from the Margins to the Mainstream, published by Farrar Straus & Giroux in May 2009. [more..]

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