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From: noyb@nowhere.com (Heavy Metal Maniac)
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Subject: Resistance #2
Date: Sun, 13 Apr 1997 16:53:02 GMT
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Thursday, April 10, 1997 

White supremacist record company in Oakland raided in tax-fraud probe 

By David Shepardson, Gary Heinlein and Oralandar Brand-Williams / The
Detroit News 

Armed law officers Wednesday kicked in the door of a rural Highland
Township home and seized records of a white separatist record company under
investigation for state tax fraud. 

Officers wearing bulletproof vests approached the home with guns drawn
shortly before 10 a.m. and finally forced their way in when no one
answered, said neighbors on the 2900 block of Central. 

The target of the investigation is Resistance Records, a record company
that distributes music for 12 white-power rock 'n' roll bands. The company
also publishes a magazine and operates a site on the World Wide Web. 

"They were operating a business without a license and without preparing tax
returns," said Sgt. Rodney Young of the Michigan State Police Treasury
Division in Lansing. 

Officers from the Oakland County Sheriff's Department, Ontario Provincial
Police and the Michigan Department of the Treasury also were involved in
the raid. The Ontario Provincial Police were involved as part of their
continual investigation of the group, which has roots in Windsor. 

Officers used a U-Haul truck to remove exactly 100 boxes of tapes, records,
T-shirts, business records, cassettes, two computers and other items. 

Richard Lobenthal, the former Michigan regional director for the
Anti-Defamation League who has tracked Resistance Records for nearly eight
years, said the company has been a formidable arsenal for America's hate
groups. 

"They've played a very active role in America's hate movement," Lobenthal
said. "It's not a membership organization. You don't join Resistance. They
sell records and CDs that advocate killing -- some about killing
minorities. Some advocate killing individuals by name." 

"They're zealots. They're very shrewd entrepreneurs, but this isn't just a
business for them. They're believers." 

A six-man police team has been watching the Highland Township home since
Jan. 22, according to a 34-page search warrant issued for the raid. 

The search warrant also contained copies of a sales receipt from a Grand
Ledge man who paid $24 for two cassette tapes espousing racial hatred, as
well as a money order deposited at a local bank, to show that the group is
not paying sales tax or filing the proper tax forms. 

The company incorporated in May 1994 and reported assets of $48,414, but
the public company -- with 10,000 shares traded -- has a negative net worth
of $34,991, according to Resistance Record's 1996 Domestic Profit report. 

Resistance Records, founded in 1994 by Windsor resident George Burdi, 26,
and former Highland Township resident Mark A. Wilson, 29, is based in
Detroit to skirt Canadian law regarding hate groups. 

Burdi also is the lead singer of one of Resistance Records' bands, RaHoWa,
short for Racial Holy War. 

The company publicly downplays overt racism. 

"We define ourselves as white separatists, which expresses (our) desire for
the establishment of a white homeland in the United States. As far-fetched
as this notion may seem to the uninitiated, we believe that it is a sound
political solution to the racial tension in the U.S. We seek to form
alliances with members of any race that support racial separatism," the
company states. 

Also on Wednesday, Ontario Provincial Police arrested Burdi on a 1993
assault charge unrelated to the Highland Township raid, after he lost an
appeal. 

Burdi was initially arrested after a fight broke out between skinheads and
anti-racist protesters in Ottawa. Burdi was convicted of assault for
kicking a woman protesting a RaHoWa concert in Ottawa and served one month
of a one-year jail sentence. 

He lost an appeal in February when Ontario's Court of Appeals concluded
that the incident was "a brutal assault committed in the name of racist
ideology." 

Burdi has insisted that he never attacked the protesters, whom he referred
to as a "bunch of leftists." Instead, he said, they swarmed on his group
and incited the violence. 

The news of Thursday's raid on a house rented by members of Resistance
Records shocked the landlord. 

Pauline Walber, 76, said she didn't know Wilson and the others living there
were involved with Resistance Records until after they signed the
$950-a-month lease for her four-bedroom, split-level ranch. 

"Do you think that being Jewish (that) I would rent to a skinhead?" Walber
said, who emigrated from Russia as a child. "I found it out after I saw it
on TV and they signed a lease. They approached me when I had a vacancy, and
I didn't make the connection. 

"I didn't ask him (Wilson) to leave. He was a very good tenant. He paid the
rent on time. I made it clear to him that he would not do any action as a
skinhead on my property. He was making records." 

Next-door neighbor Fred Butson said that Wilson, his wife, Dana, and two
children moved away about a year ago. Since then, he said, several men
lived at the home, which bustled with activity. 

"There's a lot of people who come and go, but there's been no problem,"
Butson said. "No parties. No fights or anything like that. They're friendly
enough." 

He said UPS trucks arrived with crates and boxes "three or four times a
day." 

Dark plastic over the windows prevented neighbors from seeing what went on
inside, but Butson said his granddaughter had been inside and told him that
the entire ground-level floor was packed with T-shirts, records and
literature promoting white supremacy. 

Jason Snow, one of the tenants who was home during the raid, declined to
comment Thursday. 

But another man who described himself as "an associate" of the current
tenants said he was outraged. 

"These allegations are simply bogus," said Eric Fairburn, also known as
Eric Wolf, wearing black fatigues and sporting an "Aryan" tattoo on his
arm. "They don't like the message we put out. But it's protected by the
First Amendment. 

"If we had an anti-racist publication, I don't think something like this
would be happening. 

"This will not stop anything. All this is going to do is cost the
taxpayers. ... I'm going to see what legal action I can take personally on
this matter. Obviously, there is a market for this (white-power music) and,
obviously, everybody doesn't buy into the multiculturalism thing." 

In 1992, Mark Wilson briefly served as national leader of the racist group
Church of the Creator under the alias the Rev. Brandon O'Rourke and
expanded the local chapter's membership to more than 80 people. 

But he had a falling-out with the group's founder, Ben Klassen, and was
removed from the post. Klassen later committed suicide. 

Don Cohen, the Michigan regional director of the Anti-Defamation League,
said he wasn't surprised by the tax charges. 

"It wouldn't surprise me that people who are advocating the overthrow of
the government could have tax problems," Cohen said. "They do a lot of
sales over the counter at concerts and a lot of mail order. 

"Any legal means that can be found to disrupt the activities of Resistance
Records is good for those concerned about the violence and racism of the
organization. I don't believe this will stop Resistance, but it's a setback
that they will have to deal with." 
    
    Resistance Records 
    Founded: 1994 
    Headquarters: Detroit 
    Business: Distributor of white-power music, publishes Resistance
Magazine and has a World Wide Web site. 
    Bands on label: Twelve groups, including Berserkr, Aggravated Assault,
Aryan, Centurion, Rahowa, No Remorse, Max Resist & The
Hooligans, The Voice and Nordic Thunder 
    
    Sales: Magazine circulation is 19,000, company says. It has sold more
than 50,000 compact discs. 

Copyright 1997, The Detroit News 





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