On September 7, 2012, a Wikipedia entry by user “Vfusa” added the following passage to the “Volksfront” page:
“Volksfront in the United States announced their dissolution in August 2012 via their website www.volksfrontinternational.com (site no longer valid). Citing illegal harassment and investigations by the Government they announced the organization was disbanding. Their website, blog, Facebook page, and emails have since been closed.”
The announced dissolution of Volksfront in the US occurs after white power musician Wade Michael Page opened fire at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek, WI on August 5 of this year. Page murdered six members of the religious community and wounded others before committing suicide with his own gun. While Page was formally affiliated with the Hammerskin Nation and not Volksfront at the time of the massacre, media attention also brought Volksfront into the spotlight. While some media coverage incorrectly portrayed Page as a full Volksfront member, Volksfront’s attempt to cast itself as a group that “publicly reject[s] violence as a political tool and as morally objectionable” in the aftermath of Page’s murders was deeply unconvincing, given the organization’s long history of violence. Wade Page’s ex-girlfriend, Misty Cook, was at one time a close supporter of Volksfront, before switching to circles surrounding the Hammerskin Nation, which Page eventually joined. Rose City Antifascists pointed to some connections between Wade Page and Volksfront in our article following the Sikh Temple murders.
As stated by “Vfusa” on Wikipedia, increased government attention appears to be the primary reason behind the announced dissolution of Volksfront in the USA. Online notices regarding the September 1-3 2012 “Althing” gathering for Volksfront in North America reported that the gathering would be “closed to anyone that we do not personally know” following Page’s murders and media attention pointed towards Volksfront. Now that Volksfront in the US has dissolved, the future of Volksfront chapters overseas is unclear over the short- and long-terms.
Rose City Antifa has continuously opposed Volksfront since the beginning of our organization. Indeed, our group formed out of community efforts to oppose a joint Hammerskin Nation/Volksfront International event in Portland during 2007. Since it formed, Rose City Antifa has spent much time monitoring and opposing Volksfront--an organization born in the Oregon prison system and which for many years considered Portland as its stronghold. Some accounts of Volksfront co-founder and President Randal Lee Krager’s departure from Portland during 2008 cite increased anti-racist efforts as helping to make Krager feel increasingly unwelcome in our city. Our organization has also broken major stories about Volksfront, such as about Krager working as a contractor in the Middle East. Most recently, our organization succeeded in its campaign to have Volksfront member Nicholas Cheshire fired from his place of work in August of this year.
Rose City Antifa believe that the announced dissolution of Volksfront should be treated with some caution: Volksfront has auto-dissolved once before, in 1998, when members of Volksfront in Portland including Krager were under increased police scrutiny and decided to take apart Volksfront as an above-ground organization. Volksfront then publicly resurfaced in 2001 after three years underground. Randal Krager also made a December 2004 announcement that he had given up leadership of the organization, but was soon enough back as the head of Volksfront. The latest Volksfront announcement may therefore mainly be made out of political convenience. It is possible that key Volksfront activists will continue to work as an underground network, as there is precedent for this in the organization’s history. Rose City Antifascists therefore stress that anyone with information on former Volksfront members as well as regarding other bonehead activity should continue to contact our organization. If Volksfront is indeed fully defunct in the US, Rose City Antifa are especially interested to see what bonehead groupings will attempt to assert themselves in Portland. Even with Volksfront completely closed down, clusters of ex-members could initiate considerable violence. While we wait to see how this situation will develop, we remain watchful and prepare for the challenges of the future.