Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers (D), several lawmakers and the University of Wisconsin-Madison condemned a group of neo-Nazis that marched through the streets of Madison on Saturday.
According to reports and videos posted on social media, the neo-Nazi group called the Blood Tribe was spotted marching through downtown Madison carrying swastika flags and doing the nazi salute.
Evers released a statement Saturday afternoon condemning the march and called the behavior repulsive and disgusting.
“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,” Evers’ statement said.
“Let us be clear: neo-Nazis, antisemitism, and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin,” Evers’ continued in his statement. “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.”
According to the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the group marched from the State Street Mall to the state capitol around noon on Saturday.
The university, located in close proximity to where the march occurred, released a statement condemning the group’s presence and offering support to the campus community.
“The presence of this hateful group in Madison is utterly repugnant,” University Chancellor Jennifer Mnookin said in a statement. “I am horrified to see these symbols here in Madison. Hatred and antisemitism are completely counter to the university’s values, and the safety and well-being of our community must be our highest priorities.”
The university said the march was not announced to campus officials and they will continue to monitor the situation.
Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D) was one of several lawmakers who condemned the march, posting online that the march “has no place in Wisconsin.”
“At a time when we are seeing disturbing spikes in antisemitism, it is more important than ever to denounce this hate in no uncertain terms,” Baldwin’s post said.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D) echoed a similar sentiment in response to Baldwin’s post, saying, “hate has no home here.”
“These despicable extremists do not speak for the people of Madison, Wisconsin, or the United States,” he said online. “I strongly condemn this blatant showcase of antisemitism. Our community stands resolute against such bigotry.”
Rep. Gwen Moore (D) said she was “deeply disturbed” by the demonstration.
“Hate, white supremacy, and anti-semitism have no place in America,” her post said.
Rep. Derrick Van Orden (R) responded to Mnookin’s post, and said that he is working to remove federal funding for universities that “do not vigorously condemn” the neo-Nazis “and the pro-HAMA/antisemetic rallies being held around the country.”
“Zero federal dollars without equal condemnation of both,” his post said.
According to the Madison Police Department, there were around 20 people that were “carrying Nazi flags.” Police noted there were no weapons displayed and that they had received many calls to report the group, but didn’t take action against it.
“The Madison Police Department does not support hateful rhetoric. The department has an obligation to protect First Amendment rights of all,” they said in a post on Facebook.
The march comes at a time of heightened antisemitism in the United States following the onset of the war in the Middle East between Israel and the Palestinian militant group Hamas.
This story was updated at 10:09pm.
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