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Racists rally in Woodstock

Feb 15, 2022 1:04 am

Nick Henderson reports for Hudson Valley One that about a dozen racists with their faces hidden gathered in Woodstock Feb. 11, some holding a large "White Lives Matter New York" banner. One apparent group leader was seen wearing around his neck a press identification badge with the logo for Rebel News, "but hid it from view when anyone tried to scrutinize it," according to the report. Rebel News is an extreme right-wing media outlet from Canada. A lone counter-protester soon faced off with the unannounced event. “I didn’t know anything about it until I heard bullhorns from the green, and so my dog was barking, and I’m like, What’s going on in the village green?” said the Rev. Cari Pattison, pastor of the Woodstock Reformed Church. “I thought, Oh, maybe they’re just passing through, and they’ll leave right away.” Police asked the group to not use the bullhorns and then stayed until the racists left. “In the year and a half I’ve lived here,” Pattison said, “I’ve seen plenty of different protests, but the thing that made this different was the confrontations they were having, both with the bullhorn and without. It was clear they were trying to bait people.” Pattison went home and made a sign that read, “Woodstock Reformed Church does not endorse this White Lives Matter protest. Black Lives Matter. God created all equal and beloved.” Other anti-racists turned up to counter the display. The racist protest lasted less than an hour. “Listen, they’re looking for attention,” said Woodstock town supervisor Bill McKenna. “They’re poking us. I would say ignore them.” Elsewhere locally, the New York chapter of the hate group "White Lives Matter" held a banner Jan. 14 in front of the gazebo in the park in Chatham. The group has been recently placing recruitment stickers on park benches, parking meters, utility poles, and road signs in Hudson and Stockport and have posted a video of a “meet-up” in North Greenbush. The Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups nationally, says the White Lives Matter group first formed in Texas about seven years ago by leaders associated with neo-Nazi groups. Read more about this story at Hudson Valley One dot com.