| 31 October 1993
Ed Fields’ America First Party
By Leonard Zeskind
Searchlight Magazine November 1993
A small band of white supremacists in the southeast region of the United States has organized the America First Party. Modeled after John Tyndall's British National Party, the America First Party is courting leaders from both the most violent wing of the movement in addition to veteran election campaigners. The new party will compete with the Populist Party, headquartered in Pennsylvania, and Bo Gritz' America First! Coalition for the allegiance of white supremacists running for elected office. Many of the new group's core leaders helped organized John Tyndall's May 1991 speaking tour in the USA.
The new party's chairman is A.J. Barker from North Carolina. At one time he was national chairman of the Populist Party. The secretary is Ed Fields from Marietta, Georgia. Fields' neo-Nazi career extends from the World War II-era Columbians through the New Order Klan in the 1980s. He publishes The Truth At Last, a sleazy tabloid in the Der Sturmer mold.
Featured speakers at a North Carolina meeting included aging Aryan Nations chief Richard Butler, attorney Kirk Lyons and former Liberty Lobby staffer John Nugent. In Louisiana, James Warner talked about his recent trips to Russia. Warner, whose neo-Nazi career began in the 1960s, was a David Duke activist and an elected delegate to the Louisiana Republican Party's state convention in 1991. Other speakers at the New Orleans meeting were also veterans of David Duke's 1990 and 1991 election campaigns.
French fascists Michael Faci and Guillaume Fabien spoke at the America First Party's 18 September meeting in Atlanta. Fabien claimed to represent the French Euro-Nationalist Party. Faci has been leading a mercenary group fighting the Serbs in the former Yugoslavia. Faci's group was originally aligned with Dobroslav Paraga's Croatian Party of Rights (HSP). According to Gary Lauck's New Order tabloid, Faci's mercenaries are now fighting as part of the regular Croatian Army. (On Sept. 6, Paraga was tried in a Croatian military court on charges of treason and terrorism. He was acquitted of similar charges in civilian court last year.)
State laws in North Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Louisiana will probably prevent the America First Party from securing ballot status as a third party. It is more likely that their candidates will run in the Republican Party in 1994 and 1996.
Pete Peters on TV
Colorado Identity leader Pete Peters started his own satellite television program, "Truth for Our Times" at midnight on 9 October. The one hour program is transmitted on the Keystone Inspiration Network, which often features off-beat and marginal Christian programming. Over 14 million people use satellite reception, mostly in remote rural areas, far from the television transmission towers in large metropolitan areas. Peters' television program is also carried on 65 local cable stations from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Sacramento, California. Peters also has a weekly program on AM radio stations in six cities as well as an hour long program on shortwave. The shortwave broadcasts are beamed around North American and Europe. Peters' reportedly spent $195,000 for a 15% share of the satellite station.
During the television show, Peters pulled out a rifle and cocked it, remarking, "I wanted to see if its loaded. There is no sense having one of these if it’s not loaded." At another point he reminded a guest to call gays and lesbians, "filthy fags." In a pamphlet attacking President Clinton's program to increase child immunization programs, Peters quoted favorably from the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. He plans to devote a future hour long broadcast to attacking childhood immunization.
Peters' stature has been rising within the white supremacist movement over the past year. In October 1989, skinheads booed him off the stage at an Aryan Nations rally in Tennessee. The rally had been organized by Louis Beam, a former Texas Klan leader turned Aryan Nations "ambassador." Beam's bloodthirsty vitriol contrasted with Peters' less violent appeal. But last year Peters organized a strategy meeting to support Randy Weaver after his deadly shoot-out with federal marshals in Idaho. Beam was a featured speaker at the meeting. Weaver was found not guilty of murder last June, just as Peters was holding his annual summer "Bible camp" in Kalispell, Montana. Over 500 people attended the week long camp--which included traditional church activities laced with racist and anti-Semitic propaganda. Beam was again a featured speaker, indicating a new alliance between Peters and the more militant wing of the Identity movement.
North America Free Trade Agreement
The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) will create a free trade zone between Canada, Mexico and the USA. It was designed during the Bush administration to counter the economic strength of the European Community. President Clinton has proposed passage of NAFTA, much to the chagrin of Democrats more closely aligned with the trade union movement.
"Free trade" has already caused Canada to lose thousands of manufacturing jobs, many of them to the USA. If NAFTA passes, it will likely crush Mexican agriculture--particularly the corn industry, which can't compete with the more cheaply grown American
corn. Almost 50,000 Mexicans work on their country's corn crop. Trade unionists are concerned that NAFTA will push the price of labor down in the USA, rather than raise labor standards in Mexico.
But the far right's voice on NAFTA is also being widely heard. The far right opposes NAFTA with a newly invigorated 1930s style of America first nationalism. According to Pat Buchanan, the Liberty Lobby and others, NAFTA is a sell-out to the "internationalists" which will cause the USA to lose jobs and be "swamped" by Mexican immigrant labor. Anti-racists are concerned about the growing NAFTA debate because Mexican workers are increasingly blamed for economic woes in the USA: By some labor leaders concerned about the impact of Mexican workers in Mexico; by the far right who target Mexican workers north of the Rio Grande River.
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