Leith, ND, United States (4E) – Anti-racist protesters confronted white supremacists holding a town hall meeting in Leith, North Dakota on Sunday.
Grant County police prevented any untoward incident after standing between protesters from the Unity North Dakota and Native Americans on one side and members and supporters of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) on another side in Leigh, a 1.23-square mile town with a population of 16. Around 350 people were in the town hall meeting, according to the Grant County Sheriff Department.
Self-proclaimed white supremacist Leigh resident Paul Craig Cobb, 61, invited NSM leader Jeff Schoep and his followers to the town so they can transform it into a “white only” community alarming the mayor, Ryan Schock, and other residents, including the mixed-color couple of Bobby and Sherill Harper.
In the town hall meeting, Schoep said they are not white supremacists but white civil rights activists. Ignoring heckles from protesters, Schoep said Cobb has the right to stay in the town as those opposed to his pro-white stance suggested he leave.
Schoep also said the NSM is a non-violent organization that promotes the interests of white people. He admitted the group intends to take over the Leigh government and build a white community, but assured they will not exile anyone.
But Harper believes otherwise and said he does not appreciate anyone who comes to his home to tell him he is not welcome in Leith.
Schock said he is considering dissolving the town to prevent it from becoming a white supremacist community.
The town hall meeting and protest ended by nightfall.