By Jen Kastner
ODESSA- The National Socialist Movement (NSM) revealed they'll be holding a fully-uniformed public demonstration within the next two weeks in either Midland, Odessa or Big Spring.
The NSM is a white-pride group often associated with the KKK and Neo-Nazis. Over the past week, they've been distributing controversial fliers in Odessa in order to recruit new members.
Equal rights advocacy group, Una Voz Unida, is spearheading a coalition to counter NSM's words. These "first responders" will be able to drop what they're doing at a moment's notice and head over to the demonstration with anti-hate signs and banners alongside them.
"We don't know how large they are and we don't know what to expect but it's just scary to know that they're here. We've never seen this sort of 'rally' here so we don't know what to expect but we want to be prepared for just about anything," Art Leal with Una Voz Unida, said. "We'll try to gather together as many people as we can to get there and counter demonstrate. [The NSM's] message is to blame blacks, immigrants, Jews and Muslims for a lot of the national problems that we have."
However, the NSM believes that's not entirely true. They claim they aren't hateful but they do blame third world and undocumented immigrants for crippling the economy.
Gene Collins, President of the Odessa NAACP, has been working with Una Voz Unida on this first responder coalition. Collins says that a counter demonstration is a positive first step towards locally eradicating the NSM but the problem really needs to be addressed by the folks we've put into office.
"The mayor isn't saying anything. The other elected officials aren't saying anything. The Chamber of Commerce isn't saying anything. They're letting someone come here and describe and mark Odessa as a haven for hatred. I think that the people that ought to be out-running [the NSM] are those folks who are trying to sell Odessa as a wholesome place to live," Collins said.
NSM's unit leader of the Texas division says he's seriously considering moving from Tyler, Texas to Odessa. If that occurs, the Basin will become more of a hot spot for the NSM.
The first responder coalition is seeking more volunteers to join their cause. If you're interested, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 432-349-1280.