In August, a poster surfaced online advertising that Hammerfest would go down on September 30th in Boise. The event is sponsored by the Hammerskins, a white supremacist group that started in Dallas in the late 1980s. The white power themed concerts have taken place around the country and even in Budapest.
And Hammerfest has a track record in Idaho. In 2012 the group gathered on private property in Canyon County and no problems were reported at the time.
For Tanisha Newton, the idea that an event like this is happening in Idaho is not surprising – but it’s also not acceptable. Newton is a Boise State student and is helping to lead a counter event on the same Saturday, but at the Anne Frank Memorial in downtown. The event is being coordinated by the Idaho Black History Museum.
“It’s very important for all of us to come together to do this," says Newton. "Especially marginalized people and people of color in this case – when things like this happen it’s very easy for them to become disillusioned and to feel hopeless or fearful. So I think things like this show support, but it also shows that there’s going to be no tolerance for any of this intolerance.”
The counter-event, which is called “Lemons Into Lemonade” will feature several bands, activists and politicians. Newton says any donations raised will go to Boise State student groups working on diversity issues.
According to a statement from the Boise Police Department, officials are monitoring developments around the white power event. It’s not clear where exactly Hammerfest may take place.
Find reporter Frankie Barnhill on Twitter @FABarnhill
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