BERLIN, Conn. — Another Connecticut community, Berlin, has fallen victim to hate speech after a still mysterious person scattered racist flyers all over the streets.
In past incidents, the flyers weren’t placed in mailboxes or door jams, they were just thrown everywhere. While the content of the flyers is protected as free speech, the state police are also investigating it with a newly formed hate crimes unit.
“I definitely am not pro-white nationalism and I don’t necessarily know that anyone in this neighborhood is,” remarked Danielle Urciullo of Berlin.
Hate speech is on the rise. Stacey Sobel, the Regional Director of the Anti-Defamation League of Connecticut said, “In Connecticut, in the last four years we have seen a 20X increase in white supremacy propaganda including flyers, stickers, graffiti and banners.”
Over just the last several months, 15 Connecticut communities have been targeted by the Nationalist Social Club, a neo-Natzi white supremacy organization looking to recruit, “like-minded men & women dedicated to defending their lands and their people,” according to their flier.
The most recent community targeted is Berlin. Where flyers were strewn, “all over the whole road. There were probably 100 just here,” commented a Berlin resident who preferred to remain anonymous.
The flyers first appeared Sunday morning on York Road, Allington Street and Briar Patch Drive. Some of the flyers ended up right outside of St. Paul’s Catholic Church and school.
“I felt weird like there was something in the pit of my stomach. I hope there’s not someone in that group who is living in this town or living on my street that would do that,” remarked a resident.
The Anti-defamation League of Connecticut told FOX61 that while the NSC has been predominantly responsible for spreading hate in Connecticut, they aren’t the only group. A new video obtained by FOX61 that was originally posted to the dark web shows a supporter of the Goyim Defense League or GDL putting flyers on car windshields in Waterbury. The group produces anti-Semitic content.
“That’s the first time we’ve seen an incursion from GDL in Connecticut,” said Sobel.
Over the past several months, virtually 1 in 10 Connecticut communities have been littered with racist flyers. So far, no one has been arrested.
“With the state of the country now I’m thinking this is almost going to be the new normal,” said a Berline resident.
The anti-defamation league says if you see these flyers, the best thing you can do is report it to both the police and them. The ADL collects data that helps inform both state and federal law enforcement.
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