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Whitefish 'Love Not Hate' rally demonstrates solidarity against neo-Nazi group

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The "Love Not Hate" block party was held in Whitefish on Saturday to show solidarity against the anti-Semitic group. The "Love Not Hate" block party was held in Whitefish on Saturday to show solidarity against the anti-Semitic group.
WHITEFISH -

First it was American White nationalist Richard Spencer, a former resident of Whitefish, whose views struck a chord with the Flathead region, and now it is a neo-Nazi website targeting the Jewish community in Whitefish. 

Andrew Anglin, who runs "The Daily Stormer," called for an armed march in Whitefish to be held in January.

The "Love Not Hate" block party was held in Whitefish on Saturday to show solidarity against the anti-Semitic group.

Jessica Loti LaFerriere, one of the event organizers, said, "I just felt that all that news did not reflect who the vast majority of people living here are and their values, and that is what this event is about, and bringing people together and saying this is what we believe. We are accepting people. We are loving people, and we want to show that."

Whitefish City Manager Chuck Stearns said on Friday that no permits have been filed for the proposed march, reportedly scheduled for later this month.

However, the website The Daily Stormer posted an image of the necessary application dated January 2, 2017. It is not signed by any city officials, though.

The application listed on that website calls the event the "James Earl Ray Day Extravaganza," named for the man who assassinated Martin Luther King, Jr.

The application goes on to say the march is scheduled for January 16th from 4 to 7 pm.


(DECEMBER 26, 2016) The Whitefish Police Department says it is aware of the white supremacist website "The Daily Stormer" and its call for an "armed march" through the city of Whitefish. 

Andrew Anglin, who runs "The Daily Stormer," posted on the website on Friday: "We are planning an armed protest in Whitefish. Montana has extremely liberal open carry laws, so my lawyer is telling me we can easily march through the center of the town carrying high-powered rifles." 

He says the march is "...planned against Jews, Jewish businesses and everyone who supports either." 

The post also claims, "We will be busing in skinheads from the Bay Area."

Anglin says he will gather more than 200 followers for the march, which he says will be held the second week of January.

The website also recently called for a "troll storm" by supporters of part-time Whitefish resident and white nationalist Richard Spencer against members of the Jewish community and businesses with signs in their windows showing support for the human rights organization "Love Lives Here." 

We spoke to Detective Shane Erickson with the Whitefish Police Department who says they are aware of the situation. 

He says the department plans to release an update on the situation on Tuesday.

Despite the call to march, one Whitefish woman is putting out a call for neighbors to come together and celebrate their differences.

"As a community we can be loving and accepting of those differences, and come together and celebrate those differences and see the as a strength rather than a disadvantage," said event organizer Jessica Laferriere. 

Laferriere is organizing a block party and welcoming folks to accept each other despite difference such as political beliefs, religion, ethnicity and sexual orientation. The free event will feature live music and guest speakers. 

Flathead Valley non-profit "Love Lives Here" says they support and agree with the mission of the event, which is to promote diversity and tolerance.

"Love lives here is a community-based organization and we work and ally ourselves with people and projects that do fit that mission., When the organizers approached us several weeks ago to co-sponsor this event we were happy to, we felt it followed our mission exactly," said Chairman of Love Lives Here Will Randall. 

Organizers say the event will take place at Depot Park in Whitefish on Saturday, starting at 10:30 in the morning.

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