Community fights to keep Aryan Nation out - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Community fights to keep Aryan Nation out

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JOHN DAY, OR (KGW-TV) In eastern Oregon, fear is met with action. Dozens of people from John Day and Canyon City protested and rallied against the Aryan Nation's making it clear they are not welcome here.

Paul Mullet, who called himself an Aryan leader, sparked the reaction. He toured town last week and announced he wanted to build a training center in John Day. It horrified many.

"It just made me sick," resident Penny Bennett said. "Here in grant county!"

Beth Spell says many are aware of the hate filled teachings of the white supremacists and the trouble they caused in northern Idaho. Battling them has united the rural county.

"We don't want that here," Spell said. 

Standing firm, more than 300 people gathered for the first of two town hall meetings.

Couerdlane attorney Norman Gissell who helped bankrupt the Aryans back in 2000 told the crowd the supremacists want to create a homeland in the northwest.  He encouraged them to resist the Aryans at every turn and work closely with local police. But the idea of neo nazis in John Day creates worry on many levels.

Experts say most recruits come from prison--and loving families make kids unlikely candidates. And they said --- communities that resist together--- make it very hard for supremacists to find what they want--- which may be why this is both protest---and celebration.

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