White supremacist propaganda incidents reached an all-time high last year in the United States, and New England saw an "astounding" increase of these incidents during 2022, according to the Anti-Defamation League.
Nationwide, there was a 38% increase in these incidents in 2022 over the previous year, while in New England, there was a 96% increase, according to a news release from the ADL, put out Thursday.
The ADL cited examples of local incidents that happened last year, including a July march through Boston Common, along with the anti-Semitic and racist banners that were displayed at the South Boston St. Patrick's Day Parade, and on Route 1 overpasses on September 11.
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The ADL also said that white supremacists gathered at local bookstores, libraries, theaters, shelters and hospitals in Boston, Cambridge, Kingston, Providence and Portsmouth, spreading messages that were anti-Semitic, racist, anti-immigrant and anti-LGBTQ+.
Here's a breakdown of the number of propaganda incidents tracked by the ADL in each New England state during 2022.
- Massachusetts - 465 incidents, up 72%
- New Hampshire – 183 incidents, up 383%
- Rhode Island – 142 incidents, up 74%
- Vermont - 131 incidents, up 6%
- Maine – 30 incidents, up 50%
According to the ADL, Massachusetts ranked second nationwide for the number of recorded propaganda activities, second to Texas.
“White supremacist propaganda has the dual and devious purpose to intimidate specific groups and lure others to join their hateful activities,” said Peggy Shukur, ADL New England Interim Regional Director in a news release. “Too many of these groups have set New England as their home base. With deliberation and intention, they target their hate against Jewish, Black, Muslim and LGBTQ+ communities and non-white immigrants through despicable and disruptive stunts on freeway overpasses and public events, including the St. Patrick’s Day parade."
Key findings of the ADL's 2022 report included that white supremacist groups are using more banners, often draped over highway overpasses, to publicize their hate, and that there was a 55% increase in the number of events held nationwide.