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Masked individuals with suspected Nazi affiliations disrupt anarchist book fair

Five people began chanting slogans associated with Nazis at the Boston Anarchist Bookfair Sunday. COURTESY OF BOSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENT

Masked individuals chanting “blood and soil,” a slogan commonly associated with Nazis, entered the George Sherman Union Nov. 18 during the 2018 Boston Anarchist Bookfair.

Book fair participants forced the five disruptors out of the GSU, so police were not called to the scene, according to a statement released by the book fair organizers Nov. 19.

“The physical danger and invasion of our space was prevented without the involvement of the police, who would have relished the opportunity to target us as well, or campus security,” the statement read.

BU spokesperson Colin Riley said the Boston University Police Department received no complaints about the incident from any parties.

According to the Boston Anarchist Bookfair statement, the individuals wore masks depicting arrows and bundles of wooden rods, both of which are symbols of neo-Nazi organizations.

This is the first time such an incident has happened at a Boston Anarchist Bookfair, the book fair’s organizing collective wrote in an email.

“… leftist, activist, and community events all across the country have been increasingly subject to this kind of targeted harassment by fascists,” they wrote. “We are humbled and grateful for the outpouring of support and solidarity we’ve received from members of both the BU and greater Boston communities.”

Attendants respond to the chants, shouting, “Nazis out!” COURTESY OF BOSTON UNIVERSITY STUDENT

Jordan Burnett, a junior in the College of Arts and Sciences who witnessed the incident, said it lasted about three or four minutes. He said he was initially shocked and anxious about what would happen, but he soon realized that the men were harmless as they “were so useless at getting their agenda across.”

“That’s just not something you expect to see, on our campus especially,” Burnett said.

Book fair attendees surrounded the masked individuals while shouting “Nazis out,” Burnett said, and few nearby BU students joined them.

“I’d say the weirdest thing was that, for the most part, the students were unfazed,” Burnett said.

Conor Kelley and Natalie Patrick contributed reporting.

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