A group of education, labor, religious, community, and political leaders in the Pacific Northwest has formed a coalition aimed at countering what participants see as an infusion of neo-Nazis and white supremacists in the region.
The coalition last week was making preparations for a daylong symposium called “Hands Off My Neighbor,” scheduled for Feb. 17 in Seattle, to inform the community about the activities of ultra-right-wing hate groups, and about ways to counter their influence.
“We are trying to figure out ways to present an alternative vision,” said Robert Stern, a co-coordinator of the symposium and member of the Kadima New Jewish Agenda.
Mr. Stern said that white supremacist groups have been moving into the area and are trying to exploit the region’s economic troubles. He noted that on Christmas Eve, a man named David Rice, influenced by a group called “the Duck Club,” killed members of the Goldmark family of Seattle, because he thought they were Jewish and Communists. They were neither.
In addition, a group called the National Socialist Vanguard moved its headquarters from California to Goldendale, Wash., Mr. Stern said.
Dina Burstein, a member of the Kadima New Jewish Agenda, said that Robert Miles, a preacher from Michigan, has been circulating a newsletter in prisons calling on white supremacists to move to the Pacific Northwest for what he calls “the 10 percent solution.”
According to Ms. Burstein, he wants to force the federal government to cede them the five-state area--10 percent of the country--as a preserve for “pure white people.”
The symposium, which was organized by black and Jewish leaders, has been endorsed by a number of local community groups, including the Seattle Education Association and Educators for Social Responsibility. Organizers expected between 200 and 400 residents to attend this week’s meeting. No further activities are currently planned.
A version of this article appeared in the February 19, 1986 edition of Education Week