In her complaint, Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell says that NSC-131 and its leaders have engaged in an discriminatory, hateful, and unlawful conduct.
Massachusetts Attorney General Andrea Campbell has filed a lawsuit against the Nationalist Social Club, or NSC-131, a New England-based neo-Nazi organization accused of violating state civil rights lawsuits and threatening public safety.
According to The Boston Herald, the lawsuit was filed earlier this week in Suffolk Superior Court. In her complaint, Campbell claims that the Nationalist Social Club, along with two of its leaders, engaged in an escalating “series of unlawful and discriminatory incidents” between July 2022 and January 2023. These incidents include demonstrations during so-called “drag queen story hours,” as well protests outside hotels housing recently-arrived migrants.
“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,” Campbell said in a statement issued Thursday. “My office will continue to protect our residents’ and visitors’ civil rights and public safety.”
MassLive.com notes that, between 2022 and 2023, NSC-131 staged protests against at least four events, during which members attempted to threaten and intimidate attendees.
In some cases, NSC-131 members also physically attacked passersby.
However, the organization has so far managed to avoid attracting any significant penalties for its alleged misconduct. Last year, for instance, New Hampshire unsuccessfully sued NSC-131 after it hunt a banner from a highway overpass, reading, “Keep New England White.”
In the New Hampshire complaint, the state attorney general argued that NSC-131 had broken state law and trespassed to spread its hateful message. But earlier this summer, a New Hampshire Superior Court judge dismissed the lawsuit on First Amendment grounds.
William Gens, the Boston-based lawyer who defended NSC-131 in the New Hampshire case, told MassLive.com that, while he does not agree with or condone his clients’ message, he would “still defend their right to say it.”
“We have a long tradition in our society of permitting that, no matter how offensive it may be,” Gens said, adding that, while not yet confirmed, it appears “likely” that he will defend NSC-131 leaders against the Massachusetts lawsuit.
“It reminds me of the New Hampshire matter, but kind of on steroids,” Gens told MassLive.com. “There are all sorts of things in there that I doubt could ever be proven.”
“Ultimately,” he said, “no matter how it comes out it will be a massive waste of the taxpayers’ money.”
The New England chapter of the Anti-Defamation League, meanwhile, has praised Campbell’s lawsuit, saying that organizations like NSC-131 need to be held accountable for disrupting public discourse and interfering with other protected acts of speech.
“NSC-131’s heinous activities have been disrupting, intimidating and threatening our communities for too long,” the organization said, stating that Campbell’s lawsuit “sends a message that our laws can hold them accountable for the hate they spread.”