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'Black Lives Don't Matter' Posters Appear Around Brattleboro

The town of Brattleboro has been removing posters that were allegedly put up by a neo-Nazi group based in the South.Town Manager Peter Elwell said the police received reports about the posters, and he said the town removed some of them from public spaces.

Elwell said town employees have not gone onto any private property, though he said he has heard that people have been tearing down the posters on both public and private locations.

A picture of the poster was shared on the "Brattleboro, Vermont" Facebook group. In the image, the poster's text is shown to say “BLACK LIVES DON'T MATTER” and “THE ATOMWAFFEN DIVISION IS ORGANIZING NEAR YOU!”

According to the Southern Poverty Law Center, the Atomwaffen Division (AWD) is "a terroristic national socialist organization" formed in Texas in 2015. The SPLC website also states:

"AWD's greatest success appears to be attracting young men who are entranced by its fetishizing of death, Nazism, violence, and mass murder — behind which they have compiled and are promoting a lineage of terrorists and white supremacist thinkers that they hope will inspire and recruit others to their siege."

Elwell said it’s not illegal to put up posters, and that the police have to distinguish between criminal acts that directly target groups or individuals, and constitutionally protected free speech.

But in an email message, Elwell wrote: “offensive expressions of an individual (or a few individuals) are contrary to the compassionate and welcoming values of our community.”

The posters were spotted in Brattleboro just a few weeks after the slogan “TOTEN DIE JUDEN” was scrawled on a street in town. The phrase is a rough translation of the phrase “Kill the Jews,” in German.

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