Stickers Promoting White Supremacist Groups Seen in Green River and Rock Springs

Stickers Promoting White Supremacist Groups Seen in Green River and Rock Springs

A sticker promoting the Patriot Front, a known white supremacist organization, can be seen near the Sweetwater County Historical Museum. Similar stickers have been seen throughout Green River, as well as in Rock Springs. The web address to the organization's website was blurred out. SweetwaterNOW photo by David Martin

GREEN RIVER Stickers advertising organizations supporting white supremacist views have been appearing in Green River and Rock Springs and are surprising local officials who were unaware of their existence.

Many of the stickers, some of which were found near public buildings like the Sweetwater County Historical Museum, mention an organization known as the Patriot Front. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Patriot Front is a white nationalist hate group that formed following the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, breaking off from a neo-Nazi group known as Vanguard America. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the organization presents itself as a so-called “patriotic nationalist group,” though a manifesto on its website calls for “American Fascism,” which was described by the group as returning to the virtues and traditions of the nation’s forefathers. The Anti-Defamation League notes the manifesto is also clear that non-white people are not considered Americans.

Some stickers also serve as advertisements for an online store selling clothing and other goods apparently tied to the Rise Above Movement, a white supremacist group originating out of southern California. The web shop specifically calls for the release of Robert Rundo, a founder of the Rise Above Movement, who faces charges for his alleged involvement in planning and participating in violence at political rallies throughout California in 2017. According to the SPLC, that group formed in 2017 and “is often photographed in bloody confrontations with protesters.” A ProPublica investigation cited by the SPLC revealed many of the group’s leaders have felony records and the claims the group recruited members from the Hammerskin Nation, considered to be the largest skinhead gang in the country.

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A sticker advertising for an online shop seemingly linked to the Rise Above Movement, a white supremacist group linked to violent counter protest activities, is seen outside The Brewery in Green River. The web address printed on the sticker is blurred in this image. SweetwaterNOW photo by David Martin

So far, any activity by groups affiliated with white nationalist views has flown under the radar of both local law enforcement and officials. 

Both the Rock Springs Police Department and Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office have not received reports of activity from white supremacist groups. The Green River Police Department did not respond to an email from SweetwaterNOW prior to press time. 

“We haven’t heard anything about that,” Lisa Hererra, director of the Green River Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday. Hererra said she wasn’t personally aware of any businesses in Green River noticing stickers supporting hate groups. Jenissa Meredith, CEO of Sweetwater County Travel and Tourism also said she hadn’t heard about anything related to white supremacist groups.

“We don’t know anything about that,” she said.

She said the ideas the stickers promote are offensive and has concerns about potential impacts the stickers and other similar messaging could have on tourists’ opinions of the county.

A sticker advertising an online shop apparently tied to the Rise Above Movement is seen on the old All West Communications building in Downtown Rock Springs. The web address is blurred in this image. SweetwaterNOW photo by Troy Sullivan

This isn’t the first time the Patriot Front was highlighted in Sweetwater County. The organization’s name and website address were printed on sign boards that were anonymously placed along Dewar Drive in Rock Springs last November. Additionally, signs advertising the group were found posted to light poles in a few Rock Springs neighborhoods after that occurance.

Speaking to SweetwaterNOW at the time, Rick Lee, CEO of the Rock Springs Chamber of Commerce, said his staff didn’t recall seeing the signs, saying he didn’t notice them when he went to work the morning they were spotted. Lee also said no one approached the chamber for permission to post the signs, something the chamber wouldn’t have given after learning about the organization.

“They certainly wouldn’t have had approval,” Lee said.

The signs had the organization’s web address and statements including “America First” printed on them. A few residents took down the signs after they were posted.

“It’s disappointing to see that kind of hate being spread in our community,” Rock Springs resident Joe Barbuto told SweetwaterNOW then.

Barbuto found one of the signs after other residents removed a majority of them. Barbuto took the sign and threw it in a dumpster.

“I hope they were at least placed by someone passing through and not a resident,” Barbuto said. “In either case, it’s important that we all educate ourselves about what groups like this stand for and stand up to them.”

Multiple stickers, some of which have worn away, promote the Patriot Front and a white supremacist discussion group, are seen on a box near the Maverik in Green River. The web addresses were blurred in this image. SweetwaterNOW photo by Erick Pauley