National Socialist Movement (NSM America): Political Islam is now in Southern Mexico and Latin America
The party was founded in 1974 as the “National Socialist American Workers Freedom Movement” by Robert Brannen and Cliff Herrington, former members of the American Nazi Party before the decline of the ANP. The party’s chairman is Jeff Schoep, who has held that position since 1994. The Party claims to be the “largest and most active” National Socialist organization in the United States. Although classified as a hate group, it refers to itself as a “white civil rights organization.” The party also objects to being referred to as “racist,” and “Neo-Nazi,” stating that such descriptions of their goals are unflattering. Each state has members in smaller groups within areas known as “regions.” The NSM has national meetings and smaller regional and unit meetings.
The NSM was responsible for leading the demonstration which sparked the 2005 Toledo riot. In April 2006, the party held a rally on the capitol steps in Lansing, Michigan, which was met by a larger counter-rally and ended in scuffles. In 2007, some members left to join the now-defunct National Socialist Order of America, which was led by 2008 presidential candidate John Taylor Bowles.
In January 2009, the party sponsored a half-mile section of U.S. Highway 160 outside of Springfield, Missouri, as part of the Adopt-A-Highway Trash Cleanup program. The highway was later renamed the “Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel Memorial Highway” by the state legislature.
In 2009, the NSM had 61 chapters in 35 states, making it the largest neo-Nazi group in the United States according to the Southern Poverty Law Center. As of 2015, the NSM reports having direct organized presences in seven countries around the world, and other affiliations beyond that.
In May 2011, the NSM was described by The New York Times as being “the largest supremacist group, with about 400 members in 32 states, though much of its prominence followed the decay of Aryan Nation and other neo-Nazi groups,”
On May 1, 2011, Jeff Hall, a leader of the California branch of the NSM, was killed by his ten-year-old emotionally troubled son, who claimed he was tired of Jeff beating him and his stepmother. Hall had run in 2010 for a seat on the board of directors of a Riverside County water board, a race in which he earned approximately 30% of the vote.
The NSM held a rally on September 3, 2011 in West Allis, Wisconsin, to protest incidents at the Wisconsin State Fair on August 5, 2011 when a large crowd of young African-Americans allegedly targeted and beat white people as they left the fair around 11 p.m. Police claimed the incident began as a fight among African-American youths that was not racially motivated. Dan Devine, the mayor of West Allis, stated on September 2, 2011, “I believe I speak for the citizens when I say they [the NSM] are not welcome here.”
In 2012, two alleged proponents of the NSM (though not affiliated with the organization), Sam Johnson and Joseph Benjamin Thomas, were arrested for drug trafficking, stockpiling weapons, and plotting terrorism against a Mexican consulate in the United States and given prison sentences.
As of March 2015, the organization has planned a return to Toledo, Ohio, for a rally focusing on crime in the area.
In 2016 the organization was unofficially linked to a few incidents of racially charged violence, the most noteworthy being the Anaheim, California demonstrations that drew large anti-fascist counter-demonstrations. In November 2016, following the election of Donald Trump, the organization changed its logo, replacing the swastika with an Odal rune in an attempt to enter mainstream politics