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This article has been updated to include information on a planned antifascist counter-protest
There’s a Klansman looking to rally in Portland on February 8th. Afterwards, he’ll burns a cross up the way in Vancouver, Washington.
Steven Howard announced on Facebook January 9th he plans to rally in front of the Multnomah County Courthouse. Howard told Sergio Olmos of Underscore.news that the Klan rally will be followed by a “cross-burning ceremony” in Vancouver, Washington.The rally is scheduled for February 8th from 11 in the morning until Noon.
LCRW spoke on Thursday to antifascists in the area who say they are now organizing a response. The Direct Action Alliance (DAA) set up a Facebook event to announce a counter-protest some time Thursday night.
“We shut this chump down in Lake Oswego and ran him out of town, this wont be any different, join us!” DAA wrote on the event page.
People ask” is the klan really coming? If they do I’ll bet it’s only a hand full” I say if even one shows up he should face hundreds – that even one should be run off- even one is viewed as the threat they are. Not one is welcomed here
— leftist (@luistheleftist) January 30, 2020
“People ask” is the klan really coming? If they do I’ll bet it’s only a hand full” I say if even one shows up he should face hundreds – that even one should be run off- even one is viewed as the threat they are. Not one is welcomed here,” Luis Marquez, a prominent Portland-area antifascist activist, wrote on Twitter.
Howard is a hardcore, old-school white nationalist. He belonged to the National Socialist Movement and was an Imperial Wizard in the Northern Mississippi White Knights of the KKK. In addition, Howard is a believer in Christian Identity, the white supremacist religious movement that holds that Jewish people are the spawn of Eve and Satan and only white people have souls. Christian Identity is a deadly movement. Among the murderous groups tied to them is The Order, a white supremacist gang that committed armed robberies and an assassination of a Jewish radio host in the 80s.
Steven Howard has a long history of media appearances, often paid. He admitted to “stealing valor” or lying about his military record in order to raise his public profile. Howard claimed he was instructed to lie about his record by many of the outlets who interviewed him, which outlets like Vice and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation have denied.
By 2016, Howard had dissolved the Northern Mississippi White Knights. But that year, the A&E network paid Howard at least $21,150 to start the Klan group up again and manufacture rallies and demonstrations for their series Generation Hate.
Howard relocated around 2016 to the Portland metropolitan area. He attended a pro-Trump rally in Lake Oswego, OR on March 4th, 2017.
“On March 4, Howard was in Lake Oswego, where he harassed several counter-protesters, and then stood guarded by the III%ers “security team,” who seemed more than happy to let this KKK member do as he liked in their midst,” Rose City Antifa reported. The march that day was organized by the III% of Oregon militia.
The announcement for Howard’s rally in Portland was met with little notice until the Colombian published a longform piece by Sergio Olmos on the fascist street gang Patriot Prayer Thursday. Joey Gibson, Patriot Prayer’s leader, often claims he and his group are not racist despite the racist themes in their rallies, Patriot Prayer’s constant Islamophobia and numerous well-documented ties between his group and other racist organizations.
“I know Joey Gibson,” Howard told Olmos in the piece. “I’ve seen white supremacists at his events.”
Gibson asked Howard not to attend his events, Howard claims, not because Gibson disagrees with him, but because it looks bad.
“[Gibson]told me, ‘It’s better for me if you don’t come to my events,’” Howard told Olmos. “The only reason he doesn’t want guys like me coming around is because it hurts his image.”
Indeed, the “themes” of Howard’s rally are virtually the same as Patriot Prayer’s: “illegal immigration, sex offenders and putting prayers back in schools.”
More coverage to come.