LITTLE VILLAGE — Flyers belonging to a white supremacist group appeared on lamp posts outside Cook County Court House this week in Little Village.
The flyers from Identity Evropa were posted along California and 26th Street in the same week jury selection began in the murder trial for Jason Van Dyke, the Chicago Police officer who shot and killed Laquan McDonald.
The group, which identifies itself as an “American Identitarian organization,” says its “main objective is to create a better world for people of European heritage,” according to their website.
The white supremacist group said “inequality is a fact of life” and characterized ethnic diversity as “an impediment to societal harmony.”
Resident Paul Goydandib came across the flyers outside the courthouse Tuesday morning and called the flyers “worrisome.”
“It’s sort of the thing I shrug off, usually,” the 32-year-old said. “But when you see a pattern…it’s a lot more chilling.”
Goydandib, who has been following similar incidents in Logan Square, Ravenswood and West Loop, took down and discarded some of the stickers and flyers.
“Once you start seeing these things come up repeatedly, you have to do something,” Goydandib said.
The Chicago resident said he’s concerned that the group is “traipsing around the Chicago Loop area with banners in broad daylight, and showing up to farmers markets to recruit.”
“It’s a trope at this point, but it’s no question that they’ve become emboldened by the  election,” he said.
Ald. Michael Scott Jr. (24th) was unaware of the flyers but said he would reach out the area’s police commander to investigate further.
Scott called the flyers an “isolated” incident in his ward and said that they likely were posted because of the trial.
“I’m almost 100 percent positive it is centered around the Jason Van Dyke trial,” he said. “Of course, that is not something that is warranted or something that we condone, however, there’s not much we can do other than try to investigate.”
College Campus Propaganda
According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the group, which it classifies as an extremist organization, was founded in March 2016 by 30-year-old Cal State Stanislaus student Nathan Damigo.
Damigo and his supporters began distributing material across college campuses around the country in 2016, the SPLC said.
Earlier this summer, the Anti-Defamation League released a report that white supremacist groups were escalating their propaganda by targeting college students.
In February 2017, University of Chicago Graduate Students United reported they had found at least 10 posters from Identity Evropa at various locations on or near campus since Jan. 27, 2017, according to a DNAinfo report.
During the 2017- 2018 academic year, U.S. college campuses saw an increase of white supremacist groups by 77 percent.
The Anti-Defamation League documented nearly 300 instances where fliers, stickers, banners and posters where distributed among college campuses — up from 165 in the previous academic year.
Since the organization began tracking propaganda, it has recorded 478 incidents with Identity Evropa responsible for 230 of the cases.
The group claimed responsibility for the propaganda outside the courthouse on Twitter Wednesday, ahead of Van Dyke’s jury selection.
The group posted similar stickers and flyers near Chicago’s Immigration and Custom Enforcement offices, Taste of Chicago, Logan Square Arts Festival, Lollapalooza, according to the group’s Twitter account.
The group is “opposed [to] …all immigration – legal or illegal – that…alter’s [sic] America’s historic demographics.” It’s unclear whether they are aware that Native Americans were in the country before Europeans colonized here.
Among their gatherings, the group has shared multiple photos of their members holding a large anti-immigration banner on overpasses that states: “Stop the Invasion End Immigration.”
Flyers Spotted In Logan Square
Last month, community organizers in Logan Square took down similar flyers and replaced them with their own flyers warning about “White supremacists spreading hate in Chicago.”
In the flyers, organizers alerted residents of “a man pictured…harassing people and distributing info for the violent Neo-Nazi group Identity Evropa at the Logan Square Farmers Market. He was run out of there, but we’re keeping an eye out for more bigots like him.”
“Identity Evropa and other far-right groups have been spreading more of their fascist propaganda around town lately: on college campuses, in our neighborhoods, targeting community events and leftist political demonstrations and gatherings. Members of many of these hate groups have been involved in violence across the country, including several murders (most notably after the “Unite The Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA in 2017,” the flyer continued.
Organizers urged neighbors to take down any “fascist propaganda” they see, but to watch out for razor blades hidden behind them, which they say is a common way white supremacists try to prevent people from taking down their flyers.”
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