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Shofar FTP Archive File: orgs/american/klanwatch/press/reuters.033095u


Archive/File: fascism/usa reuter.033095u
Last-Modified: 1995/04/02

 Hate-motivated assaults rose sharply in 1994
    MONTGOMERY, Ala, March 30 (Reuter) - The annual tally of
 bias-motivated assaults in the United States rose by more than a
 fourth last year, with homosexuals bearing the brunt of the
 violence, a centre that monitors hate-group activities said on
 Thurdsay.
    In its annual report to law enforcement agencies, the
 Klanwatch Project of the Southern Poverty Law Centre also warned
 that the white supremacist group Aryan Nations is now undergoing
 a massive expansion after years of decline.
    The 1994 data showed assaults prompted by the victim's race,
 ethnic background, religion or social orientation rose to 228
 from 183 the previous year. But the number of bias-motivated
 murders dropped to 18 from 30 in 1993.
    Klanwatch said it was able to determine that anti-gay bias
 lay behind 25 percent of the assaults and nearly two-thirds of
 the murders. The group determines motivation by examining a
 number of factors including statements made by the assailant,
 the degree of force used, crime location, robbery and statements
 made by friends and community leaders.
    Klanwatch project director Danny Welch said a particularly
 disturbing development on the hate front last year was the
 growth experienced by Aryan Nations. The group, which first
 surfaced in the mid-1970s as Ku Klux Klan influence waned,
 expanded from three states in 1993 to 18 last year and began
 distributing its neo-Nazi literature in Europe.
    While Aryan Nations' gains have come largely from the
 decline of other white supremacist organisations, Welch said,
 the development could signal increasing unity among the ranks of
 organised hatred.
    ``It's a dangerous situation because they've got the
 know-how to bring about change within the movement. Under one
 umbrella, you don't have factional fighting. They're trying to
 unify,'' he said. He said Aryan Nations also appeared to have
 benefited from a 1994 U.S. election debate that played heavily
 on issues such as immigration, inner-city violence, gun control
 and anti-government sentiment.


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