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14 March 2021

Local neo-Nazis radicalize anti Covid-19 movement, interact with county commissioner


Above is Keith "Biome" Michael Erickson, one of Southern Oregon's most notorious white nationalists and Holocaust deniers. 2020 was a busy year for him, as he and fellow neo-Nazi Gregg Marchese took part in anti lockdown rallies and harassed Black Lives Matter demonstrators throughout the Rogue Valley. Below is a screen capture of Erickson allegedly at the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack.
 

Below are pictures of neo-Nazi and Covid-19 denier Gregg Marchese taken at an event in Medford prior to the pandemic lockdown.






Above, Erickson was active in a number of counter protests as BLM protests took place in Ashland, Medford and elsewhere in Southern Oregon. During one such rally, Erickson allegedly attacked a young man. According to some witnesses, Marchese was "aggressive and verbally abusive" as well.








By Brad Smith


JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. -- It's been an odd, disturbing transformation as over the years Keith "Biome Michael" Erickson went from goofy, hippy Ashland mayoral candidate to being one of Southern Oregon's infamous neo-Nazis.

In October 2012, Erickson gained some national attention when Comedy Central selected him to be featured as a One of a Kind Candidate for its Indecision Forever website. Local media outlets snapped up the story, Erickson shared a few quips about it and he would eventually -- not surprisingly -- lose the election.

It was good for a few laughs.

Flash forward to December 2018, as Erickson and fellow neo-Nazi Gregg Marchese were barred from entering Havurah Shir Hadash, an Ashland synagogue, where a packed audience turned out to hear a presentation about anti-Semitism in the U.S. and around the world. According to local media reports, Marchese recently posted on Facebook that the KKK was created to protect Southerners from "powerful Jews who had Lincoln killed (and) roaming gangs of recently freed slaves inflicting murder, rape and vandalism on whites."

In January 2019, Erickson and Marchese appeared at a Medford anti-hate crime event featuring Oregon's Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum. Jackson County District Attorney Beth Heckert and Central Point Police Dept. Chief Kris Allison were also present. It should be noted that none of the county commissioners were present.

However, the two neo-Nazis would eventually get the attention of Commissioner Colleen Roberts.

"I don't feel safe myself," Erickson told the visibly upset audience that night. "And, I'm confused why Jewish people don’t like me. I have nothing against them. I just follow the truth and know the real history of the Holocaust. I want to be safe," he said. "If I want to say that white pride is good, I should feel safe doing that."

Marchese spoke as well and echoed Erickson's sentiments -- however he asked not to be identified in the media.

By 2019, Erickson had already caused a stir on social media with his posts. On both his Facebook and Twitter accounts, he describes himself as "White (Aryan) Male American National Socialist / Historical Revisionist." Aside from being a vehement Holocaust denier and 9/11 conspiracy theorist -- the Israelis, the Freemasons and so many more -- "Biome Michael" is also a staunch anti-GMO activist, hates 5G technology, worries about chemtrails and, not surprisingly over the last year, has jumped on the Covid-19 "Plandemic" bandwagon.

Erickson reportedly shutdown his Facebook after numerous activity suspensions. His Twitter is still visible but he hasn't posted anything publicly in a long while.

Marchese still has his page open for the public. On July 25, 2020, he posted this:

BEHIND THE MASK: THE REAL AGENDA
Face masks have absolutely nothing to do with public safety.
They are being imposed as a form of slave training and prison indoctrination. Compliance with foolishness imposes shame and despair.
Masks are also phase one of the initiation ritual into the 'new normal' totalitarian rule world. First isolate and separate and break down identity, then indoctrinate with the new program into the brain void created by the isolation, then re-introduce the initiate into the transformed social and physical world.
Face masks drive people apart, cutting off an essential aspect of human communion, observation of emotional and personal expression and recognition of familiar faces and prevention of familiarization of new faces. Ever notice how babies stare for a prolonged time at new people who enter their view? They are imprinting familiarity. Put a mask on someone, they can't do it. We can't really know what someone is feeling, thinking, intending, expressing. Anxiety results.
Alienation, separation, isolation and despair result. This is the goal, this is one of the main functions of the mass mask wearing mania. Another of course is to impair the health and clarity and energy of the entire population. Another is to drive a further divide through the People, another bilateral polarization. Still another may be to identify those who are the resistors, the rebels, the counter-revolutionaries, and separate them out and neutralize them.

But if there are too many of them, too well organized, too determined, it will not work and the maskless face of freedom will shine openly.  

As with Erickson, Marchese embraces most of the same conspiracy theories and fringe beliefs -- and as with his July 25, 2020 social media rant, he views the Covid-19 pandemic as some sort of Machiavellian scheme for global domination. 

Erickson started appearing at the Williams Grange Pancake Breakfasts, where he took time to voice his numerous views -- much to the chagrin of some. The Grange reportedly postponed the breakfasts until the situation was resolved.

Last summer, he took part in a so-called "Liberty Rally" on July 17, held in Sweet Home. 
Erickson told The New Era reporters -- Sweet Home's newspaper -- that he had learned of the rally via Telegram, a social media app that right wing extremists frequently use. He reached out to the event organizer, Jimy White. White and Erickson posed for a picture of them hold a Black Lives Matter banner. 

White posted the picture on his Twitter account.


According to The New Era article, Erickson said "'white America was better' and talked about wanting white people to only associate with other white people. While giving a speech on a bullhorn, Erickson said 'racism is anything the left doesn't agree with.'"  He then reportedly shadowed a local journalist during the rally -- he allegedly asked about their ethnic heritage and if they were an FBI agent. During the rally, Erickson said those who wore masks were "subhuman."

Aside from some drug arrests in Tennessee and some driving violations -- plus a failure to appear charge on a trespassing arrest -- Erickson hasn't had any major charges filed against him. Yet.

However, some feel that Erickson was present in Washington, DC, during the Jan. 6 Capitol Hill attack carried out by alt-right domestic terrorists. In the following video that appeared weeks ago on C-SPAN, a number of people claim that Erickson can be seen -- at timestamp 1:56 -- as terrorists accost a Capitol police officer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivVOPWrFfW4&t=123s

Some feel that it's possible Erickson was a part of the Capitol Hill terrorist attack since he's been seen taking part in a number of alt-right protests throughout Oregon, especially Salem and Portland.

Between the anti mask/lockdown protests and the BLM rallies, both Erickson and Marchese were busy. During a rally at Medford, Erickson attacked a protester and they talked about the incident in a Facebook video:

Last August, the local journalist group Sailor Boy Media interviewed someone who had a disturbing encounter with Erickson, Marchese and some Covid-19 mask/lockdown opponents. The individual quickly scrubbed their online presence and, according to some sources, moved away for fear of their lives. The video can be watched here and the actual encounter starts at the 24:53 timestamp:

Portland's Rose City Antifa, a group some believe to be the oldest known active antifa group in the country, have devoted a considerable of time and resources in tracking and outing neo-Nazis and other right wing extremists. It was inevitable that Erickson and Marchese ended up on their radar. On March 10, the group posted on their website a lengthy, well-documented article on Erickson and Marchese's activities.

Rose City Antifa viewed and screenshotted several Telegram channel posts made by both Erickson and Marchese, along with others, focusing on Covid-19 conspiracy theories and rants about masks and lockdowns. From the article: At the end of 2020, Rose City Antifa researchers came across a known Ashland-area neo-Nazi, Keith Michael “Biome” Erickson, posting in a Telegram channel titled “Make America Fascist Again.” In that channel, Biome and a local compatriot with the username “RogueOp NS” bragged to other fascists about their successful infiltration of Southern Oregon COVID-denial circles, and discussed their efforts to further radicalize people they encountered there.

And:

Investigation into messages from Biome and RogueOp NS—who was identified as Erickson’s partner-in-fascism Gregg Marchese—alerted us to a Telegram channel titled “FreeJaCo.” “FreeJaCo” (short for “Free Jackson County”) was created by Erickson and Marchese and to share anti-mask action plans, COVID-denial conspiracy theories, and antisemitic, homophobic, and racist content with a larger group of like-minded Ashland and Medford-area residents. Marchese and Erickson spent much of 2020 orienting a group of COVID-hoax believers towards anti-COVID-restriction organizing and radicalizing them through repeated exposure to fascist propaganda.

Later in the article, the Rose City Antifa researchers revealed a worrisome series of interactions between Jackson County Commissioner Colleen Roberts and the two neo-Nazis. Both men had been present at an Aug. 5 meeting and spoke of their "concerns" about the pandemic lockdowns. Evidently, they established some sort of connection with Roberts, according to the researchers:

The next day, after Biome, Marchese, and a collection of their fellow “FreeJaCo” channel members gave testimony in front of the Jackson County Commissioners, Commissioner Colleen Roberts approached them in what Biome described as a “more informal non-session setting out from the auditorium” and told them about what she believed were inconsistencies in COVID-related “Executive Orders” from the Governor that might make those orders vulnerable to legal action from right-wing advocacy groups. Commissioner Roberts, who was first elected at the end of 2014, was a featured speakers at a May 16th rally in Medford against coronavirus restrictions, where she at one point addressed the crowd by asking “Why couldn’t you have an elective surgery, but I understand an abortion can be done, which is elective?!…It comes down to this: Are we a free state, or are we a police state?”

The Rogue Free Press was there for the May 16 rally. Prior to making the aforementioned remarks, Roberts urged everyone present -- including unmasked children -- to move closer to the stage and "crowd up together."

It's bothersome to some that Roberts opted to interact with two known neo-Nazis: Both men, especially Erickson, were the focus of articles featured in local papers, including The Mail Tribune, The Daily Tidings and Rogue River Press. And, judging from her non appearance at the January 2019 anti-hate event featuring the state's Attorney General, some would say she's not concerned about the issue.


The Rogue Free Press has attempted to contact Roberts and ask her why she interacted with two known neo-Nazis.

She has not responded.

Concerned county residents can reach her at:
Phone: 541-774-6117
FAX: 541-774-6705


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