Veteran members of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations have seen this drama played out before, at the gates of the old Aryan Nations compound on the rimrock above Hayden Lake, on Sherman Avenue in downtown Coeur d’Alene, at Coeur d’Alene’s City Park. For three decades, the local task force shadowed Richard Butler’s organization, countering annual supremacist conventions with human-rights celebrations, hijacking an Aryan Nations parade for a fundraising event and combating hate with peaceful activism and anti-hate laws. They task force never allowed the racists to dictate its agenda. The resisters to the Olympia hate rallies would do well to study the Kootenai County task force playbook.
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