A neo-Nazi march outside the Wisconsin State Capitol on Saturday has sparked widespread outrage across the state and country amid an alarming rise in anti-Semitism.
The Madison Police Department said the group consisted of about 20 people carrying Nazi flags. Authorities added that the protesters did not appear to have weapons.
Social media videos of the protest captured protesters — all men — holding swastika flags, making the Nazi salute and chanting “blood will fall.” Each protester wore red shirts that read “Blood Tribe” on the back.
Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers wrote a statement on Saturday condemning the demonstration: “To see neo-Nazis marching in our streets and neighborhoods and in the shadow of our Capitol building spreading their disturbing, hateful messages is truly revolting.”
He continued, “Let's be clear: neo-Nazis, anti-Semitism and white supremacy have no home in Wisconsin. We will not accept or normalize this rhetoric and hate.” He called these ideologies “abhorrent and repugnant” and denounced “their presence in our state in the strongest possible terms.”
Wisconsin Democratic Senator Tammy Baldwin He wrote, “This has no place in Wisconsin.” He added: “At a time when we are seeing alarming spikes in anti-Semitism, it is more important than ever to denounce this hatred in no uncertain terms.”
“Hate has no home here,” said Democratic Rep. Mark Pocan, who represents Madison, “These despicable extremists do not speak for the people of Madison, Wisconsin or the United States. I strongly condemn this blatant display of anti-Semitism. Our community stands resolutely against such bigotry.”
The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) described the “Blood Tribe” as an all-male group – they don't allow female members – of “hardline” white apologists.
“The presence of neo-Nazis outside a synagogue and in front of the Wisconsin capitol today is deplorable,” said ADL Midwest Regional Director David Goldenberg. He called on city, state and university leaders to “act aggressively to develop comprehensive strategies to combat anti-Semitism and extremism in Wisconsin and on campuses across the state.”
The demonstration comes after a marked rise in anti-Semitism displayed across the country following the October 7 attacks in the Middle East. The ADL recorded an increase in anti-Semitic incidents compared to last year. From October 7 to October 23 this year, the ADL recorded 312 anti-Semitic incidents. during the same period last year, the ADL recorded 64 anti-Semitic incidents.