By Kristian Moravec
Boston University News Service
An officer approaches a protester holding a sign that says “this court is pro-Nazi” on the West Roxbury District Courthouse steps on Oct. 17, 2022. The officer removes the protester, stating “the judge wants to keep the steps clear.” The demonstrators arrived to protest Chris Hood, an aspiring police officer and local neo-Nazi.
Nationalist Social Club spewed anti-refugee messages outside a hotel in Kingston housing Haitian migrants just two weeks after Hood’s pretrial hearing in West Roxbury.
A hotel in Kingston currently houses a primarily Haitian group of migrants, including 64 children, according to the Boston Globe. The group, better known as NSC-131, displayed a banner with anti-refugee messaging and distributed flyers in the hotel parking lot before police removed them from the property in the afternoon.
The demonstration is just one of many recent NSC-131 activities while their alleged leader, Chris Hood, grapples with criminal charges in Boston. Hood was once described as a “good student” and was an aspiring police officer according to the Shore Educational Collective, a program for behaviorally and academically-challenged individuals. Hood was charged with affray and ordered to stay away from two counter-protesters after he and other NSC-131 members protested outside of Patty Bourrée’s Drag Queen Story Hour for children in Jamaica Plain on July 23, 2022.
White supremacist activity is on the rise in New England. A 2022 study conducted by the Anti-Defamation League reported that Massachusetts had the fourth highest level of hate propaganda distribution in the country. Boston has already seen frequent demonstrations this year from groups like NSC-131 and Patriot Front.
The frequency of demonstrations by white nationalist groups has residents on edge. In a WBUR interview, Patty Bourrée, a drag performer and director of the Boston Chapter of Drag Queen Story Hour, notes that NSC-131’s presence at the book-reading event was not a surprise but noted that “being in drag is a risk.”
A young Boston activist, who preferred to be referred to as Maggie and uses they/them pronouns, said that counter-protesting groups like NSC-131 became a bigger part of their life in the past four months. They said it is important to push NSC-131 out of Boston through community alliances with those directly affected by hate groups.
“Get in touch with people you care about in regard to what’s going on,” Maggie said. “Don’t do nothing.”
One group, the Freedom Fighters Coalition (FFC), has been focused on combating white supremacy through mutual aid, an exchange of resources to provide for all members of a community. The mutual aid process aims to support the marginalized members of the Boston community that hate groups tend to target, such as low-income, Black, LGBTQ or Jewish residents.
FFC, however, still shows up to protest white supremacy where needed. FFC members were present outside the West Roxbury District Court House for most of Hood’s court dates, often displaying anti-fascist and anti-Nazi signs. The group’s leader, Ernst Jean-Jacques, said that it is important to keep an eye on Hood’s judicial process and to show the court that his actions are not welcome in the community.
Hood’s judicial process is already off to a rocky start – his first court appearance garnered attention when he and several others clashed with counter protesters upon arrival at the courthouse. The altercation prompted one arrest.
Protest attendance was low at the Oct. 17 pre-trial hearing as Hood attended virtually. He was represented in court by Simon Glik, despite earlier wishing to represent himself. Hood is due back in court on Dec. 5, 2022.
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