A neo-Nazi group based in New England has engaged in “violent, threatening and intimidating conduct” against the LGBTQ+ community and immigrants, the Massachusetts Attorney General claims in a lawsuit filed Friday. File Photo by Leigh Vogel/UPI | License Photo
Dec. 8 (UPI) — Massachusetts authorities on Friday filed civil charges against an avowed neo-Nazi group they say has engaged in “violent, threatening and intimidating conduct” against the LGBTQ+ community and immigrants.
The Nationalist Social Club, commonly known as NSC-131, has staged an “escalating series of unlawful and discriminatory incidents” in Boston and elsewhere in the state, according to a civil complaint filed by Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Joy Campbell.
The AG’s office said it is seeking injunctive relief as well as monetary civil penalties and damages from NSC-131, which it claims violated civil rights laws, interfered with public safety, created public nuisances and committed other infractions as part of a “concerted campaign to target and terrorize people across Massachusetts and interfere with their rights.”
The neo-Nazi group and its leaders, Christopher Hood and Liam McNeil, are named in the civil action, which was filed in Suffolk County Superior Court in Boston.
“Our complaint is the first step in holding this neo-Nazi group and its leaders accountable for their unlawful actions against members of our community,” Campbell in a statement. “My office will continue to do all it can to protect our residents’ and visitors’ civil rights and public safety.”
Officials accused NSC-131 of repeatedly attempting to disrupt and shut down events organized by LGBTQ+ community groups, and targeted hotels providing emergency shelter to recently arrived immigrants through the state’s emergency assistance program.
Campbell alleged the group attacked members of the public and unlawfully interfered with access to event spaces in public libraries while targeting “Drag Queen Story Hour” events between July 2022 and January 2023 in Boston, Fall River, Mass., and Taunton, Mass.
She also alleged the neo-Nazis targeted Massachusetts hotels providing emergency shelter to recently arrived immigrant on at least five separate occasions between October 2022 and October 2023, accusing them of trespassing on hotel property and threatening employees.
Finally, Campbell said NSC-131 has regularly conducted vigilante “patrols” of residential neighborhoods and public spaces across the state since at least 2020, during which they have allegedly carried weapons while trespassing on and vandalizing both public and private property.
Hood and many of the New England-based group’s other members have faced criminal charges, in some cases related to their activism, according to the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups across the country.
The group says NSC-131 first rose to prominence on a national level after some of its members bragged about attending the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, and embraces “theatrical activism.”
On Jan. 22, 2022, about two dozen white nationalists associated with the group protested in front of Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, passing out leaflets identifying doctors they claimed were advancing “preferential health care policies for non-white patients,” according to WGBH-TV.
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