Local, state officials condemn neo-Nazi march in Madison

By: - November 19, 2023 6:40 pm
Wisconsin State Capitol

Wisconsin State Capitol (Baylor Spears | Wisconsin Examiner)

About 20 neo-Nazis marched up State Street from the UW-Madison campus to the Capitol on Saturday and gathered at James Madison Park in front of the Gates of Heaven synagogue, a historic 19th-century building run by the city parks department.

“To see neo-Nazis marching in our streets and neighborhoods and in the shadow of our State Capitol building spreading their disturbing, hateful messages is truly revolting,” Gov. Tony Evers said in a statement Saturday. “Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate. It’s repulsive and disgusting, and I join Wisconsinites in condemning and denouncing their presence in our state in the strongest terms possible.”

The marchers, dressed in red shirts with “Blood Tribe” printed on the back wore black face masks and carried swastika flags. At the Capitol, they reportedly chanted “Israel is not our friend” and “there will be blood” and yelled racial epithets at passers by. Christopher Pohlhaus, a  Maine-based former U.S. Marine turned white supremacist leader who founded the group was identified as a participant in the Madison march. 

According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), Blood Tribe “is a growing neo-Nazi group that claims to have chapters across the United States and Canada.”

The ADL web page on the group states:

  • Blood Tribe members are followers of Christopher Pohlhaus, whose white supremacist beliefs include elements of Esoteric Hitlerism (which exalts Hitler as a deity) and Wotanism, a variant of Norse Paganism.
  • Blood Tribe presents itself as a hardcore white supremacist group and rejects white supremacists who call for softer “optics.”
  • Blood Tribe members emphasize hyper-masculinity; the group does not allow female members.
  • Blood Tribe sees themselves as both the last remaining bulwark against enemies of the white race and the only path to a white ethnostate.
  • Since becoming a membership organization in 2021, Blood Tribe has been increasingly active, holding anti-LGBTQ+ demonstrations and private gatherings.

In addition to Evers, Wisconsin officials including UW Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin, Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway, State Senate Minority Leader Melissa Agard and U.S. Rep. Mark Pocan and U.S. Senator Tammy Baldwin issued statements condemning the march. 


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Ruth Conniff
Ruth Conniff

Ruth Conniff is Editor-in-chief of the Wisconsin Examiner. She formerly served as Editor-in-chief of The Progressive Magazine where she worked for many years from both Madison and Washington, DC. Shortly after Donald Trump took office she moved with her family to Oaxaca, Mexico, and covered U.S./Mexico relations, the migrant caravan, and Mexico’s efforts to grapple with Trump. Conniff is the author of "Milked: How an American Crisis Brought Together Midwestern Dairy Farmers and Mexican Workers" which won the 2022 Studs and Ida Terkel award from The New Press. She is a frequent guest on MSNBC and has appeared on Good Morning America, Democracy Now!, Wisconsin Public Radio, CNN, Fox News and many other radio and television outlets. She has also written for The Nation, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, among other publications. She lives in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three daughters.