The fliers that appeared on front lawns and walkways of residences in several metro locations over the weekend put their prejudice front and center. Stuffed inside plastic bags weighed down with rice or rocks, the handouts featured a photo of three Caucasian females of various ages along with the slogans "Your Blood Is Sacred" and "Save Your Race." Elsewhere, the line "Every single aspect of the COVID agenda is Jewish" appeared over a list of executives at the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
and others from Jewish backgrounds.
Scott Levin, regional director for the Mountain States Anti-Defamation League
, which serves Colorado and Wyoming, declines to name the outfit responsible for the fliers. "I don't want to give them any more oxygen than I have to," he says. However, the items are emblazoned with identifying symbols of a hate group called the Goyim Defense League, which operates nationally but has exhibited a special focus on Colorado, according to information assembled by the national ADL
"This isn't the first time they've been in Colorado," Levin stresses. "They were passing out fliers this last summer. They've done banner drops where they hang despicable banners over I-25 overpasses. They've put stickers on downtown light poles. Their issue is just blatant and virulent anti-Semitism."
The ADL's page on the group describes it as "a loose network of individuals" that "includes five or six primary organizers/public figures, dozens of supporters and thousands of online followers." Along with a video platform called GoyimTV, which "streams anti-Semitic content," the organization is said to tout "white supremacist themes via the internet, through propaganda distributions and in street actions," with its "most zealous and visible actors" located "in California, Colorado, Florida and New York."
Here's an example offered by the ADL: "In October 2020, 'Roccet The God,' an Aurora, Colorado-based...rapper took part in a Denver 'banner drop' alongside GDL advocate Joseph Bounds. In a subsequent GDL podcast, which included footage of the banner drop, Roccet said, 'This is Roccet the God.... You wanna know who killed Mary? Them pedi Jews.” Roccet then points to his T-shirt, which reads, 'Who killed Mary Phagan? The ADL. Protecting murders & pedophiles since 1913,' a reference to the longstanding anti-Semitic lie that Leo Frank, a Jewish factory manager, was responsible for the 1913 murder and rape of Mary Phagan, a thirteen-year-old factory worker. Frank’s eventual lynching was a primary catalyst in the formation of the ADL."
Images from the ADL page about the activities of the Goyim Defense League.
Another Colorado action referenced by the ADL targeted pandemic-era safety efforts in a manner similar to the fliers distributed in recent days. "In December 2020, Colorado GDL members Vincent Bertinelli and Joseph Bounds hung a banner from a Denver overpass that read, 'COVID-19 IS A LIE. IT’S NOT ABOUT HEALTH. IT’S ABOUT CONTROL,'" the organization noted.
The first reports about the fliers to appear on Nextdoor
referenced the 100 block of Marion Street in central Denver. But Levin, who says he received around two dozen contacts regarding the items, notes that they also turned up "near the Denver Country Club, in the Capitol Hill area, in Arvada, but also in Austin and San Antonio, in Florida, in Miami Beach and Surfside and Fort Lauderdale, in Annapolis, Maryland, and in San Francisco and north Chico, California."
While the scope of the latest action was large, Levin thinks the group itself may be fairly modest in size. "It doesn't take a lot of people to put fliers in a plastic bag and drive around a neighborhood and throw them on front porches or lawns," he says. "But even if it's a small number of people, it can cause a big reaction. That's the nature of terroristic activity, it seems to me — and they've picked up on a modality used by the Ku Klux Klan and white supremacists of old."
The Denver Police Department is on the case. According to a DPD spokesperson, an investigation by the department's bias-motivated-crime unit "is in the preliminary stages," and anyone with information can contact Metro Denver Crime Stoppers at 720-913-STOP (7867).
The flier distribution qualifies as "hate incidents, but probably not hate crimes," Levin suggests, adding that "what happened affects the community, and especially the Jewish people in the community. So the best thing people can do is to use their own voices and speak out against it, because this is part of normalizing anti-Semitism, and we can't allow that to happen — because we've seen that violence sometimes follows that kind of normalization."
He notes that the fliers appeared "one week after the horrific hostage-taking
in Colleyville, Texas. Things like this are reminders to us that anti-Semitism exists and that we're living in an era where it's at its highest levels. That's put the community on edge, and it continues to make us hyper-vigilant about these issues."