White supremacist town showdown in Leith, N.D.

September 23, 2013 10:47:46 AM PDT
The people of Leith, North Dakota, hoped for a peaceful Sunday night after hundreds came to protest the arrival of white supremacists in the tiny western north Dakota town.

The big surprise today? A sea of law enforcement officers who locked down the town and stood between those yelling at each other.

The day started peacefully on the sleepy and Sunday morning in Leith. Farm work ceased hours before any trouble was expected, as the state patrol and deputies from four departments set up a command post and shut down all entrances to Leith. Troopers guarded even the smallest field roads into town.

The proactive plan worked. Shortly after noon, those protesting the presence of white supremacists in Leith arrived, and the unrest began.

A strong showing of support for Leith came from North Dakota's Native Americans, who came there angry and ready to take on Craig Cobb and members of the National Socialist Movement.

They marched down the main street of Leith, mocking the white supremacists who stood watching from the many lots in town they now own, flags with Nazi swastikas were all over town on land they now own.

What a day for those who have lived in peace and quiet on these dusty town roads for decades. Confrontations broke out, most of it cussing and racial slurs. But always, a strong line of law enforcement separated those preparing to fight.

As things heated up with the protestors, the special response team could be seen approaching the unrest, at the ready.

Bagpiper Jimmy Marr of Oregon, a white supremacist, kicked off the town meeting.

There were few answers as to what will happen to those white supremacists living in Leith. Some got unruly and were removed. As Cobb and his followers left the town hall meeting, they were heckled and jeered. Then yelling from protestors. Close enough law enforcement moved them all back to avoid more confrontation.

Finally, the sheriff sent them all home, Bobby Harper, the only black man in Grant County, lives right behind the white power supporters, and said he couldn't believe the show of support.

Bagpipes from the white supremacists bid them all farewell, Cobb seeming to enjoy the attention.

By nightfall, everyone had left Leith, the mayor hopeful of one thing - getting his town back.


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