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White Supremacist Group Crashes Anti-Abortion Rally in Loop – NBC Chicago

Dozens of members of a white supremacy group marched along with anti-abortion activists in a loop on Saturday afternoon.

Video footage from the event shows members of March for Life insulting the far-right group Patriot Front when they tried to join their rally.

Members of the Patriot Front wore their uniform khakis, blue jackets, and white face-covers; many held large shields and wore shin guards. Members held up a large sign that read “STRONG FAMILIES MAKE STRONG NATIONS”.

Thomas Rousseau, the figurehead of the group, was seen wearing a cowboy hat and no face covering at the head of the group. Rousseau previously led another extremist group, Vanguard America, at the disastrous Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.

“What are you wearing shields for? This is a peaceful demonstration. You are a shame, ”a March for Life man yelled at Patriot Front members in a video posted on Twitter.

Members of the Patriot Front did not respond to hecklers in the video and eventually stopped marching alongside anti-abortion activists who stopped their demonstration outside the Hilton Hotel.

In a blog post, the Anti-Defamation League defines the Patriot Front as a white supremacist group that “represents racism, anti-Semitism and intolerance under the guise of preserving the ‘ethnic and cultural origins’ of their European ancestors”.

Patriot Front has been one of the most active white racist groups in the US in recent years and, according to ADL’s David Goldenberg, often “takes advantage of” events like the March for Life rally.

Sometimes they show up and pretend to be participants, sometimes they try to command the event, “and really take advantage of things that have already been put together …” said Goldenberg.

Patriot Front often targets events where there may be some “overlapping views” and uses them as recruitment opportunities.

“With we’re hot on the heels of January 6th, white racist groups are actively trying to recruit,” added Goldenberg. “They actively try to recruit at events like the one in Chicago, and they also actively try to recruit at political rallies. They try to recruit at various protests, even at universities. “

“They are active, they are encouraged,” added Goldenberg.

March for Life Chicago disavowed the group on Twitter ahead of the rally on Saturday, writing: “The March for Life Chicago is in no way affiliated with the Patriot Front and opposes white supremacy.”

Patriot Front did not write about participating in the march on their website or in the encrypted messaging app Telegram, which the group usually uses to advertise their public demonstrations.

The Patriot Front did not immediately respond to questions from the Sun-Times.

As the anti-abortion activists finished their rally on Saturday, the Patriot Front marched on through Grant Park and crossed the tunnel to the other side of the street, where they were picked up by a fleet of cars with hidden license plates.

Almost a year ago, Patriot Front held their own little-noticed rally in the Loop, which also coincided with a March for Life demonstration in Chicago.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, members of the group have taken part in three pro-life rallies in Chicago since 2017 and demonstrated a total of ten times in the city.

In 2018, members of the group were kicked out of a Pro-Life rally in town after displaying a banner that read “PROTECT OUR POSTERITY” which, according to a blog post on Pro-Life, said “Blood und Erde ”website of the Action League. “Blood and Earth” is a Nazi slogan that was chanted by protesters in Charlottesville.

“We applaud the people who turned them down,” said Goldenberg. “It is important for communities to reject this type of hatred and to do it loudly.”

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