Police Ensure Peaceful Supremacist Meeting in Virginia

Police Ensure Peaceful Supremacist
Meeting in Virginia

A massive showing of local, state, and federal law-enforcement officers were on hand May 4 at a two-hour meeting of a white-supremacist group in the Tabb Library in Yorktown, Virginia, to discourage any violent protests and disruptions. An estimated 170 officers with riot gear were apparently an effective deterrent to the protests and violence that have often accompanied inflammatory speeches by World Church of the Creator national leader Matt Hale at other library venues, especially York, Pennsylvania.

Inside the library’s meeting room, only 11 journalists, more than a dozen sheriff’s deputies, and nearly 40 others, many of them young men with shaved heads, listened to Hale’s speech, according to the May 5 Newport News Daily Press. The library was closed for the day, at the request of county law enforcement.

York County Public Library Director Beverly Dudley told American Libraries that “a resident who belonged to our library was outraged because our modest filters prevented him from getting to his hate site. After he found out there was one unfiltered computer, he seemed okay, but the next thing we knew he filled out an application to use our room for an informational meeting for Hale’s group.” Dudley added, “About that time, our police were contacted by police from York, Pennsylvania, and then it was no longer ours to plan—it was gangbusters.”

Dudley said police made it difficult for protesters to group, because they didn’t allow anyone to park within a mile of the library. However, the Daily Press reported that about 60 demonstrators had gathered by the end of the meeting, greeting the emerging supremacists with chants of “Shut ’em down! No Nazis in Yorktown!”

Posted May 13, 2002.