ORLANDO, FLORIDA — The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) is warning Florida’s 22 million residents to watch out for a potential non-violent neo-Nazi public gathering this weekend.
“Two extremist groups, the Goyim Defense League (GDL) and Blood Tribe (BT), are planning to gather in Florida in September 2023 for a joint, public demonstration(s) they are calling the ‘March of the Redshirts,’” ADL Florida wrote in a “Community Advisory” on Thursday.
ADL Florida says the Goyim Defense League (GDL) is an antisemitic network with the goal of “expelling Jews from America,” while Blood Tribe is a neo-Nazi group that views themselves as “the last remaining bulwark against enemies of the white race.” Other event participants might also include members of NatSoc Florida (NSF), the Nationalist Social Club (NSC-131) and White Lives Matter (WLM) network.
While the advisory admitted the time and place of the gathering remains unknown, the ADL Center on Extremism (COE) is in possession of “intelligence” that “suggests the group may be planning to rally over the Labor Day weekend.” ADL Florida added that the “March of the Redshirts” could get called off due to rain, but speculated that between 100–150 people could attend the gathering.
“COE expects the group will likely hold several demonstrations in high visibility locations – such as a sporting or entertainment venue, highway overpass, government building or in front of an LGBTQ+ venue or Jewish institution – in order to attract as much public and media attention as possible,” the advisory stated.
“In addition, participants may distribute white supremacist and antisemitic fliers and/or conduct banner drops. […] The Center on Extremism is not aware of any direct or specific threats of violence at this time.”
ADL provided several recommendations, including: “If at any time you feel that you may be in danger, contact law enforcement immediately.”
The group also advised against speaking with neo-Nazis or engaging with their “propaganda.”
“Participants will likely wear matching uniforms (red shirts, black masks, and black pants), wave swastika flags, perform Hitler salutes and shout things like ‘There will be blood’ and ‘White power,’” the advisory said. “Some participants may be armed and/or wear tactical equipment.”
NEW LAW RAISES FREE SPEECH CONCERNS
Neo-Nazi groups face a greater risk of prosecution this Labor Day weekend than they did last year. The state has determined that their anti-Jewish message warrants greater punishment than other viewpoints that certain groups find offensive.
A law signed by Governor DeSantis while on a visit to Israel in April imposes a third-degree felony for “littering” someone’s property with materials demonstrating “religious or ethnic animus,” threatening another for displaying religious or ethnic insignia, or defacing a memorial, cemetery or school associated with religious or ethnic heritage. Anyone who violates this new law could face up to five years in prison.
Attorney and First Amendment expert Barak Lurie told The Florida Standard at the time the bill, HB 269, sailed through the Florida Legislature:
“These laws can’t really fly. People seem to have no idea what the First Amendment means – they think it includes a right not to be offended.”
Lurie added: “You can’t specifically single out certain groups, religious or not, based on symbols and clothing and say they have a right not to be offended. The exception is ‘fighting words’ – that is, if someone is directly inciting violent acts against another person.”
“BAN THE ADL” TRENDS ON TWITTER
On Friday afternoon, #bantheADL began trending on Twitter (now rebranded as ‘X’) due to the organization's efforts to suppress free speech and support for the sexualization of children. Conservative pundit Jack Posobiec shared the sentiment with his 2.2 million followers.
The ADL was founded in 1913 after a Jewish factory manager, Leo Frank, was convicted of raping and murdering a young girl in Atlanta, Georgia. Frank and his backers tried to pin the heinous crimes on a black man. But the jury didn’t buy that, and neither did the appeals courts or the U.S. Supreme Court.
Frank was sentenced to death, but after powerful and wealthy Jewish groups exerted pressure on Governor John Slaton, the sentence was commuted. The citizens of Atlanta did not accept the outcome. They stormed the prison and lynched Frank, who the ADL regards as a martyr and hero.