BURLINGTON — The Queen City is listed on the Southern Poverty Law Center hate map, which tracks the presence of hate groups in the United States.
Burlington appears on the map emblazoned with a swastika, indicating the presence of a neo-Nazi website, the Daily Stormer.
The website, started by Andrew Anglin in 2013, is known for publishing hate speech, and the name of the publication is taken from the Nazi propaganda organ Der Sturmer.
A local, Burlington-based sub-group sprung up in response to a national call by the Daily Stormer for such groups to be formed regionally.
A Southern Poverty Law Center website says the map is compiled using “hate group publications and websites, citizen and law enforcement reports, field sources and news reports.” The center lists 917 such groups nationwide.
The SPLC defines a hate group as having “beliefs or practices that attack or malign an entire class of people, typically for their immutable characteristics.” The activities of the groups range from “criminal acts, marches, rallies, speeches, meetings, leafleting or publishing.”
Last year Anglin began encouraging users to start local “book groups” to help organize followers and help them connect offline. The forum for Burlington, which included people who live elsewhere in New England and New York, drew 33 posts from September 2016 to the present.
Participants in the forum talk about get-togethers, including an America First Ramadan Free Speech BBQ. Daily Storm posters also celebrated the website’s placement on the SPLC’s hate map, according to a Seven Days report. The posts are anonymous, and it’s unclear whether the forum actually held any meetings.
The website’s devotees helped to organize the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, this past weekend. Anglin referred to Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman who was killed by a white nationalist who drove through a crowd of protesters, as a “fat slut.”
The slur resulted in a major social media backlash that prompted internet companies, including GoDaddy and Google, to deny the Daily Stormer, which is currently offline, domain registration services, and Cloudflare to refuse to provide internet security services to them.
Correction: The refusal of internet services by Google, GoDaddy and Cloudflare was corrected on Aug. 21 at 12:43 p.m.