‘European Heritage Association’: White Supremacists Sneak into NJ Labor Day Parade

·3 min read

A white supremacist group whose members helped ransack the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection failed to infiltrate a Labor Day parade in New Jersey on Monday, the city’s mayor said in a statement.

South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh says the group of racists, part of the New Jersey European Heritage Association, tried to sneak into the back of his city’s annual parade but were quickly stopped by police. The group never registered with the city and were treated as protesters, Anesh said.

The group’s unofficial status didn’t stop pissed off parade goers from heckling and recording the men, however.

“You know these guys are racist pieces of shit, you know who they are right?” one man says on the video. “You guys are not welcome here. Not welcome.”

The group donned matching white tees, sunglasses and wore American flag bandanas over their faces, all while holding a massive sign that read, “DEFEND AMERICAN LABOR … CLOSE THE BORDER.” They stayed quiet as parade goers heckled them, though, one member briefly stepped to the front to snap a photo of the sign before the recording cut out.

It’s unclear how long the group was on the parade route, as video only shows them standing silently as police flanked them, no floats in sight. Mayor Anesh did not answer a phone call or text from The Daily Beast on Tuesday afternoon seeking clarification.

Anesh, who runs the city of 24,000 in central Jersey, released a rambling statement Tuesday to deny theories that the group was an official part of the parade or that they received a police escort.

“In no way shape or form did I, the Governing Body, the Public Celebrations Committee or any other group or organization in South Plainfield condone or welcome this group to the Parade,” Anesh wrote.

The Anti Defamation League has classified the New Jersey European Heritage Association as a “small” hate group. They’re mostly known around the Garden State for posting antisemitic fliers and spewing hate while attending white supremacist rallies and demonstrations.

Despite their size, fliers from the group were found inside the U.S. Capitol after last year’s insurrection, Gothamist reported. Another flier, spotted outside a McDonald’s in Trenton, New Jersey, had the text “America is under occupation” emblazoned over the Star of David.

A QR code is printed on each flier, redirecting curious onlookers to their incredibly creepy and hateful website, which is filled with “replacement theory” nonsense and photos of pregnant white women.

“The non-Whites who will come to replace us will recreate the failed societies they have fled,” the group’s site says. “Ask yourself, is this what the Founding Fathers wanted? Is this even what your grandparents wanted? More importantly, is this what you want for your children?”

The group’s members believe white children are a minority in the U.S. and that Antifa is a “Jewish communist militia,” Gothamist reported.

Despite the hate group’s antics, Anesh said they didn’t disturb enough for the city to cancel the parade for a fourth year in a row. It had been postponed for a security incident in 2019, for COVID in 2020, and for Tropical Storm Ida last year, he said.

Instead, the mayor went as far as claiming South Plainfield’s parade was New Jersey’s best parade this Labor Day with thousands in attendance. Regardless of whether he’s right or not, it’s a parade that will likely be talked about for years.

“I want to thank the Police for intervening and keeping the day's activities safe for our residents and not allowing Labor Day to be marred by this group,” Anesh said.

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