'White rights' group defends its plans

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Hundreds of people showed up in Leith today for a town hall meeting. It got started after anti-racism protestors paraded into town, and the self-proclaimed white rights group addressed angry community members, sympathizers and everyone else who showed up.

Emotions were still running high when Craig Cobb and Jeff Schoep made their way into the Leith Town Hall, but Schoep says he didn’t come to Leith to start a fight.

“We are not a hate organization,” says Schoep, commander of the National Socialist Movement. “The media is constantly saying that we are white supremacists, we’re bigots, we are racists, that we’re a hate group. There’s nothing in our organization that has anything to do with hate.”

Schoep made it clear that they were there to support Cobb’s cause. “The National Socialist Movement is here today to defend Craig Cobb and his right to live here in this nation, in this city, in this town, in this county, and that will not be abridged.”

About 25 members of the National Socialist Movement came to Leith from Idaho, Oregon, and Michigan along with some like-minded North Dakotans.

“It is important for us to be here because we are fighting for white Americans in America. We don’t hate.  We’re not about that,” says Stacy, a member of the NSA from Oregon.

They were trying to open up a dialogue with people from the community.

A Leith resident asked, “What brings you to this town?”

Schoep replied, “We want to see people moving into empty homes, we want to see revitalization, new businesses.”

Protestors weren’t the only ones with signs and flags. Members of the National Socialist Movement  put up their own flags outside of Cobb’s house.

“There’s no doubt we’ll be the majority in Leith. It’s only a question of when,” says Cobb.

The next fight in this ongoing battle could be in court.

“Craig Cobb’s civil rights will not be violated,” says Schoep.

Both sides are threatening legal action and the court proceedings will drag on for a lot longer than today’s town hall meeting and accompanying protests.

Right now, the legal action facing Cobb is an attempt to condemn his house. The County Health Department says he needs to get running water and sewage in thirty days or he’ll be forced out of his home.