Massachusetts attorney general files civil rights lawsuit against white nationalist group

FILE - Andrea Campbell, Attorney General of Massachusetts, answers a question during an interview at the State Attorneys General Association meetings, Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023, in Boston. Campbell has filed a lawsuit on Thursday, Dec. 7, accusing a white nationalist group of civil rights violations, saying it repeatedly subjected LGBTQ+ events and facilities sheltering migrant families to intimidation and harassment. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa, File)
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By MICHAEL CASEY

Associated Press

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts’ attorney general has filed a lawsuit accusing a white nationalist group of civil rights violations, saying it repeatedly subjected LGBTQ+ events and facilities sheltering migrant families to intimidation and harassment.

The complaint filed Thursday against NSC-131 and two of its leaders, Christopher Hood of Newburyport and Liam McNeil of Waltham, accuses the group of engaging “in violent, threatening, and intimidating conduct that violated state civil rights laws and unlawfully interfered with public safety.”

“NSC-131 has engaged in a concerted campaign to target and terrorize people across Massachusetts and interfere with their rights. Our complaint is the first step in holding this neo-Nazi group and its leaders accountable for their unlawful actions against members of our community,” Attorney General Andrea Campbell said in a statement.

According to the complaint, the group repeatedly targeted drag story hours around the state between July 2022 and January 2023, attempting to shut down the events and attacking members of the public. The group also targeted migrant shelters from October 2022 and October 2023, prosecutors allege.

The Associated Press wasn’t able to reach Hood or McNeil for comment about the lawsuit or determine if either has an attorney. A number listed for Hood had been disconnected and a number could not be found for McNeil. The group didn’t immediately respond to messages sent through Gab and Telegram.

The Anti-Defamation League describes NSC-131 as a New England-based neo-Nazi group founded in 2019 that “espouses racism, antisemitism and intolerance” and whose “membership is a collection of neo-Nazis and racist skinheads, many of whom have previous membership in other white supremacist groups.”

Earlier this year, a New Hampshire judge dismissed trespassing complaints against the group. Prosecutors there said the group displayed “Keep New England White” banners from an overpass without a permit in July.

In March 2022, about a dozen masked members of NSC-131 attended South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade as spectators and held up a banner that said “Keep Boston Irish.” The parade’s organizers and Mayor Michelle Wu denounced the group’s appearance.