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Former Neo-Nazi Leader is Convicted of Hate Crime

On April 20, 2007, Shaun Walker, former chairman of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, Travis Massey, former leader of the group's Utah chapter, along with a third man, Eric Egbert, were convicted of assaulting a Mexican-American man in 2002, and of conspiracy to interfere with the civil rights of individuals.  In addition, the three men were found guilty of "violating the victims' federally protected right to enjoy a place of public accommodation free from violence based on their race," according to a Department of Justice press release. The charges against the men stemmed from racially motivated beatings at two different bars in Salt Lake City in 2002 and 2003.  The prosecutors argued that the beatings were part of a plan to intimidate non-whites in Salt Lake City.

As chairman of the neo-Nazi National Alliance, until his arrest in June 2006, Walker advocated an ideology that demonized Jews and other minorities and called for a whites-only homeland.  This ideology emanated from the now-deceased William Pierce, who founded the Alliance in 1974.  Pierce was the author of The Turner Diaries, a novel whose vision of a violent white revolution in this country inspired Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, as well as others, to commit murders, robberies and other crimes.

Pierce liked to pretend that his group attracted a "better class" of white supremacist, but the crude racist attacks committed by Walker and his cohorts stripped away the intellectual veneer the National Alliance liked to project and revealed the racist violence and demagoguery that was at the core of the group.  Pierce thought that his followers would be the vanguard of a "white revolution," but they proved to be nothing more than hateful thugs and bullies.

In decline since Pierce's death in 2002, the National Alliance underwent a split in the ranks in 2005 after Walker and Erich Gliebe, the current chairman of the group, expelled a number of key players from the organization. The expelled members went on to form the National Vanguard, which was dissolved in March 2007 and replaced by a new incarnation of the group--European Americans United.

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