Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell has taken a significant step in addressing civil rights violations by filing a lawsuit against the white nationalist group NSC-131 and two of its leaders, Christopher Hood of Newburyport and Liam McNeil of Waltham. The lawsuit accuses the group of repeatedly subjecting LGBTQ+ events and migrant family shelters to intimidation and harassment, creating an atmosphere of fear and insecurity for these communities.
The complaint, filed on Thursday, alleges that NSC-131 engaged in “violent, threatening, and intimidating conduct” that not only violated state civil rights laws but also unlawfully interfered with public safety. Attorney General Campbell stated, “NSC-131 has engaged in a concerted campaign to target and terrorize people across Massachusetts and interfere with their rights. Our complaint is the first step in holding this neo-Nazi group and its leaders accountable for their unlawful actions against members of our community.”
According to the complaint, the group specifically targeted LGBTQ+ events, such as drag story hours, between July 2022 and January 2023, attempting to shut down these events and physically attacking members of the public. Furthermore, prosecutors allege that the group also directed its intimidation tactics towards migrant shelters from October 2022 to October 2023.
The Anti-Defamation League has described NSC-131 as a New England-based neo-Nazi group founded in 2019, which openly promotes racism, antisemitism, and intolerance. The group’s membership consists of individuals with a history of involvement in other white supremacist groups, making it a concerning and dangerous entity.
While attempts to reach Christopher Hood and Liam McNeil for comment about the lawsuit were unsuccessful, it remains to be seen how this legal action will unfold. The group, which has previously displayed banners with hateful messages in public spaces, has yet to respond to messages sent through various online platforms.
This lawsuit comes as a significant move to combat hate and intimidation targeting LGBTQ+ communities and vulnerable populations in Massachusetts. It signals the state’s commitment to protecting the rights and safety of its residents while holding accountable those who seek to spread hatred and fear.
Previous Incidents and Community Response
Earlier this year, a New Hampshire judge dismissed trespassing complaints against NSC-131, which had displayed “Keep New England White” banners from an overpass without a permit in July. In March 2022, around a dozen masked members of the group attended South Boston’s St. Patrick’s Day parade as spectators, holding up a banner that read “Keep Boston Irish.” The group’s appearance was met with strong condemnation from parade organizers and Mayor Michelle Wu, who distanced the event from such divisive rhetoric.
Massachusetts’ legal action against NSC-131 underscores the importance of addressing hate groups and their actions, particularly when they target marginalized communities like the LGBTQ+ population and migrant families. The outcome of this lawsuit will likely be closely watched as it unfolds in the coming months.