North Dakota Town Combats White Supremacist Takeover With Legal Defense Fund

AP

The North Dakota town of Leith, population 24, has established a legal defense fund to resist being taken over by white supremacists, the Bismark Tribune reported Thursday.

Craig Cobb, 61, purchased a dozen plots of land in Leith (pronounced ‘Leeth’) and plans to turn it into a colony for white supremacists, the Bismark Tribune reported last month. He has already sold or transferred ownership of some plots to people who share his white nationalist beliefs, and advertised the town as a place where “responsible hard core” white nationalists can fly “racialist” banners, the New York Times reported.

Now, the leader of the largest white supremacist group in the country, the National Socialist Movement’s Jeff Schoep, plans to visit the town this weekend, according to the Tribune. 

Cobb has threatened lawsuits “in order to bleed us dry,” Leith City Council member Lee Cook told the Tribune, and county officials have not come to the town’s defense. Money given to the Leith Legal Defense Fund will go toward town attorney fees to fight Cobb’s takeover.

“We need people from across the state to come alongside of us and show support that they don’t believe in what this guy is doing,” Cook said. “There are a lot of people who could speak up. It’s not tricky. Silence, to me, means that whatever he’s doing is OK.”

The website leithnd.com was set up this week that plans to provide updates about the town’s struggle against Cobb.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoë Schlanger is Frontpage Editor at TPM. Zoë was a TPM intern in 2011, and prior to returning here she was editor in chief of NYU Local, the alternative independent student news site at NYU. Zoë has interned at places like the Nation, InsideClimate News, The Rachel Maddow Show and Gothamist. She can be reached at zoe@talkingpointsmemo.com.
LIKE US ON FACEBOOK