Note 3/28/2017: While Camp Swamp provided a venue for the racist Asatru Folk Assembly this year, they state they will not rent to the AFA in the future. Camp contact details removed from post.
Note 3/17/2017: Camp Swamp has clarified that they are concerned about litigation if they cancel, and that they do not share the values of the AFA. Our statement makes a political and ethical case for cancelling. However we note that racist organizers seem to be breaking agreements with the Camp, by tolerating weapons if kept hidden.
This weekend, the Asatru Folk Assembly — a racist neo-pagan/heathen organization — plans to hold its annual “Ostara in the South” gathering at Camp Swamp at Union Point in Georgia. The racist heathen gathering is set to begin on Friday March 17 and continue through Sunday March 19. Anti-racists ask that you contact the venue and demand that they cancel their booking for the bigoted Asatru Folk Assembly.
The Asatru Folk Assembly (AFA) was founded by Steven McNallen in 1994 (although its history traces to earlier efforts by McNallen from the ‘70s onward). The organization subscribes to a racist variant of Heathenry/Germanic Neopaganism that is exclusively for white people. Current AFA leadership have explicitly stated that people of color and sexual minorities need not apply. Over 170 Heathen organizations have signed a declaration rejecting the AFA’s clear racist and anti-LGBTQ bigotry.
The AFA is clearly intertwined with the organized white nationalist movement. A new video from AFA’s founder McNallen titled “What Stephen McNallen Really Thinks About Race” cries that whites are facing “extinction” and calls on others to say “I will fight for my race.” McNallen claims that the “system” is rigged against white people and he cites the Fourteen Words, a white power motto coined by terrorist David Lane. McNallen’s statement has been widely circulated in white nationalist circles. The Asatru Folk Assembly has not disavowed McNallen’s statement, because it also reflects their organization’s worldview. Before this, Asatru Folk Assembly members were found at the conference of the racist National Policy Institute, demonstrating the AFA’s overlap with political (rather than “spiritual”) white power organizing.
The special guest for last year’s “Ostara in the South” gathering was Henrik Palmgren, who heads a far-Right media company named Red Ice Radio. Palmgren’s speech was on “Wotan, Jung, and Our Duty in this Age of Ultimate Degeneracy.” Palmgren is now a leader in the new Altright project, which unites key institutions of “Alt-Right” white nationalism.
At the time of writing, Camp Swamp in Union Point is allowing their venue to be used for the white power gathering. Camp Swamp is a private entity and does not face the same ‘free speech’ issues as a government body. Camp Swamp can cancel the event at its discretion, but so far it prefers to let the racist event go ahead. By helping the AFA organize, Camp Swamp is bringing committed racists into the community and tarnishing its own reputation.
We are also concerned that AFA event organizers are stating that they will turn a blind eye to violations of the Camp’s weapons policy, if the firearms carried by their attendees are not flaunted.
We believe Camp Swamp should the right thing and abide by their own mission statement — which stresses safety, respect and diversity as core values. They should follow the example of the Minnesota venue that canceled its booking to the AFA last year due to concerns about organized bigotry.
[Contact information for Camp Swamp removed.]
Spread the word in your community! We also encourage you to learn more about opposition to racism in the Heathen community by visiting Heathens United Against Racism.