Rose City Antifa has a two-part expose of the American Freedom Party (former names: American Third Position, and before that Golden State Party) in Oregon:
A few excerpts:
The American Freedom Party (AFP) is a nationwide white supremacist organization that markets itself as an upstanding, family-friendly, and nonviolent political party by portraying white people as an oppressed group, and themselves as an advocacy organization similar to the NAACP. However, locally, they have embraced a number of white power veterans with histories of race-based violence and murder, such as Kyle Brewster. Scratch the surface and it is apparent that AFP is a fascist party with an extermination agenda.
AFP uses tactics and rhetoric borrowed from the activist left and libertarian right as part of their work to build a white nationalist political party. AFP is part of a fascist tradition known as Third Positionism. Third Positionism presents itself as a new, ‘third” alternative to both right and left-wing politics by advancing hard-right ideas through adopting and deploying radical left signifiers in ways that confound mainstream expectations for what the right looks like; an example of this is utilizing environmentalist framing to promote neo-Eugenicist policies. However, rather than being a new dimension of political thought, Third Positionism actually harkens back to the very origins of fascism–in Mussolini’s Italy, populist trappings were paradoxically used to crush the working class.
The American Freedom Party models itself after large, contemporary European fascist parties such as Golden Dawn in an attempt to build similar broad bases of support. Part of that strategy is creating an activist wing called Free America Rally (FAR). FAR and AFP have built momentum locally by doing low risk, short duration forms of activism that they then document. They are efficient propagandists and have created a wealth of online videos and photos to promote their organization from these frequent, short events. Their recent ventures into Portland show that they are emboldened by their successes in the surrounding suburban and rural areas. AFP’s primary target audience is Ron Paul libertarians and racist paleoconservatives. The local branch of American Freedom Party has, however, attempted to make inroads at liberal left events such as at an anti-war rally in Portland. This tactic has precedent–both the anti-globalization and Occupy movements were used as recruiting grounds by the racist right. Racist groups incorporated these movements’ populist messages into their own propaganda, added a hefty dose of anti-semitism, and produced distorted fairy-stories about a dwindling and oppressed white race.
The groundwork for the American Freedom Party was laid in May of 2009 by a Southern Californian racist street gang called Freedom 14. The number “14” is used widely by white supremacists as it refers to the fourteen words, “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for White Children,” a phrase originally coined by the late white supremacist and author, David Lane. Freedom 14’s initial attempt at forming a popular political party for white nationalists was called the Golden State Party (GSP). According to their old Facebook page, GSP stated that they were “a political protest-party” whose goal was “to win political representation for European-Americans.” Merely four months after its inception, in September of 2009 the Golden State Party fell apart when it came to light that their chairperson, Tyler Billington Cole, had been using aliases such as “Eugene Cameron” and “Tim Robbins” to conceal his criminal past. Cole had served a 5 year sentence in Arizona for a felony conviction of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon in 2001. He was also convicted in 2008 of possessing an illegal machete in California.
Extreme Makeover: Nazi Edition
Shortly after the collapse of the fleeting Golden State Party, on October 15th of 2009, Freedom 14 held a meeting to elect a new leader and a new party name. The leader they chose was William Daniel Johnson and it was then that they became known as American Third Position (A3P). Officially launched on January 4th, 2012 A3P’s website stated that they were, “both a political party and activist organization dedicated to the interests vital to the preservation and continuity of ethnic European communities within the United States of America.” This new description was a more focused and sophisticated version of GSP’s original statement of purpose.
In February of 2012, as a part of #OpBlitzkrieg, which targeted various Neo-Nazi organizations around the world, members of the Anonymous Movement hacked A3P’s website as well as forums and email accounts connected to the group. One year later, on February 1st, 2013, A3P announced that they would be changing their name to the American Freedom Party, though their “passionate defense of freedom,” as well as their platform and values would remain the same.
The article goes on to say:
The Free America Rally (FAR) is the activist wing of AFP. It originated as a nationwide anti-immigration protest and morphed into a subdivision of AFP. FAR tends to look more like your stereotypical bonehead crowd with flight jackets, white pride t-shirts, and white-laced boots. FAR seems to have developed as a way to maintain a role for the edgier white supremacist types without marring the wholesome, family-centered aesthetic of AFP. FAR gives a flavor of militancy and subculture to the organization. It is also a good place for the orphaned remnants of white power crews past to find a niche. This strategy of creating nominally separated branches appears to attempt to reconcile the age-old conflict in the hard right between mass movement party-builders and insurrectionary militants.
For long-time white supremacists, one advantage of FAR is that the organization is not yet subject to the same hazards and risks associated with white power gang lifestyle. Local old timers with prior convictions often have probation and parole restrictions which prohibit them from fraternizing with other white supremacist gang members, so FAR functions as a loophole, a space where they can maintain contact with other dangerous white supremacists. In areas where convicts are prevented from voting, FAR acts as a way for racists with records to participate in electoral politics. However you look at it, FAR’s identity as a political protest movement lends them an air of legitimacy. Finally, members of FAR get to be heroes to a new generation of bigots. The combination of militant aesthetic and direct action rhetoric, minus the gang baggage, is attracting a younger set of recruits as well. Meanwhile, maintaining AFP as a somewhat separate entity reduces the risk of losing appeal for racists who are interested in appearing more mainstream and do not want the stigma of being viewed as extremists or thugs.
Tyler Cole holding his son (left) with man wearing NWF shirt (right) at the Oregon Gun Show, April 20th (Hitler’s birthday) 2013.
Books by Harold A.Covington, White Supremacist Author & Leader of Northwest Front.
On 4/20/13 (Hitler’s Birthday), The American Freedom Party tabled the Collector’s West Gun Show in Portland with several books by Harold Covington of the Northwest Front, a White Nationalist group that advocates white people settling the Pacific Northwest and creating a whites-only homeland. At another event, AFP members took and posted video of themselves handing out Northwest Front literature. It is unsurprising that the American Freedom Party would choose Covington’s literature, considering his own success as a white supremacist politician. In the 1970’s and 80’s, prior to founding the Northwest Front, Covington served as the National Socialist White People’s Party chief. Covington took fifty-four thousand votes in the 1980 North Carolina Republican primary for state attorney general, accounting for 40 percent of the total votes. Covington moved to the United Kingdom for a time where he helped found Combat 18, a British neo-Nazi network that openly promoted violence. C18 continued to have their mail routed through Convington’s address after he returned to the states.
Combat 18 takes its name from the first and eighth letters of the alphabet, AH, which represents Adolf Hitler.
From left to right: Kelly Conrady, Rebecca Hughes (Barrett), and Laura Cole (Bailey)
Laura Cole is the wife of Tyler Cole, original leader of the Freedom 14/Golden State Party that later spawned American Third Position/AFP. The Coles moved to Oregon in late June of 2012 from Mission Viejo, California as part of the Northwest Front project of longtime neo-nazi Harold Covington to create a separatist whites only nation in the US Pacific Northwest. The flag she is holding in the above photo was created by a South African based Afrikaner fascist party (AWB) and is deliberately styled after the flag of Nazi Germany under Hitler.
Kyle Brewster (right) sneering at Free America Rally on February 23, 2013
Brewster was one of the three members of East Side White Pride and White Aryan Resistance who murdered Ethiopian immigrant Mulugeta Seraw in Portland on November 13, 1988. Seraw was beaten with a baseball bat and left in a pool of his own blood. He died early the next morning. According to another one of the murderers, Ken “Death” Mieske (now deceased), they murdered Seraw “because of his race”.
Brewster was convicted of manslaughter and was sentenced to fifteen years in prison. He was released in November, 2002 and was scheduled to complete his parole in 2008. He violated his parole in 2006 by associating with the white power gang, Volksfront. We have written extensively about Volksfront. Volksfront members have numerous acts of racist violence under their belts, including their 2003 murder of a homeless man in Tacoma, Washington.Brewster was re-released from prison on December 18, 2007 but he was re-arrested within hours on an assault charge related to an attack on a guard during his latest prison stay.
Marr is a long time member of the National Socialist Movement (NSM). In 2009 Marr represented the NSM at the Pacifica Forum, an antisemitic discussion group in Eugene, OR. Marr’s event titled “The National Socialist Movement: An Inside View of America’s Far Right” served as a recruiting opportunity for the NSM, complete with Nazi saluting and seig heiling. […]
Marr recently was the keynote speaker at a rally for the white supremacists colonizing Leith, North Dakota. Marr appears to be the main mover and shaker behind the banner drops that AFP has engaged in locally. Marr made both the “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white” banner that was dropped in Eugene on September 2nd 2013 and the “Diversity is a code word for white genocide” banner used in Portland on December 12th 2013.
Left to right: Jojo Brittain, Christian Coats, Shawn Saunders
Shawn Michael Saunders
aka Sean Saunders (legal spelling above, the alternate is used as an alias)
Saunders appears in a large number of the photos of AFP and FAR gatherings. He hangs out with violent white supremacists such as Christian Coats of the Stumptown Bootboys […]. Saunders himself has mostly stuck to petty theft and drug related crimes, including a 2009 robbery charge he served time for. His affiliations with both the AFP and the Stumptown Bootboys bonehead crew are concerning.
For context, see the viewpoint of the Oregon AFP and discussion thereof here.