The group that has claimed responsibility for a mob attack at a Chicago-area restaurant over the weekend is the same group that hosted former Weather Underground terrorists and Barack Obama associates Bernadine Dohrn and Bill Ayers last year, according to fliers published on the organization’s web site.
That group, as The Blaze mentioned earlier this week, is Anti-Racist Action (ARA). According to its own website and a documentary on the group, ARA formed in the 1980s under the street name “The Baldies” in the Minneapolis-St.Paul area and as anti-racist skinheads to combat neo-Nazi groups that were gaining power.
On Saturday afternoon, a group of eighteen people wearing all black stormed Ashford House, a restaurant in Tinley Park, a community in the Chicago metro area. Ten people were injured in the attack and three were placed in the hospital.
Various news outlets have reported that the group targeted in the attack was associated with Stormfront, a website popular among white nationalists and white supremacists.
Discussion threads on that website suggest that the meeting at Ashford House was a meet-and-greet for forum members. The docket for their luncheon, which was organized under an organization calling itself the Illinois European Heritage Association, suggests that their goal was “economic networking.” The coordinator of the event, later identified as Beckie Williams, said the event was not racist, while material for the gathering was meant to promote “work for whites.”
One of the men hospitalized in the attack, who asked to remain anonymous, told The Blaze, “Our group is not a violent group. We do not condone violence at all.” The man, who received eight stitches after suffering a head wound and bruised left eye socket, said that the attackers terrorized the party. “They were armed with weapons from metal batons, hammers, nun chucks, wood batons, and various other items. They even used chairs and tables as weapons.”
Witnesses at Ashford House reported that the assailants were meeting in front of the restaurant prior to the attack and stormed in, singling out specific group members for attack. Some patrons and Ashford House employees were also injured.
As previously reported by The Blaze, five men have been arrested for their participation in the attack: three brothers – Jason Sutherlin, Dylan Sutherlin, and Cody Sutherlin, all hailing from Bloomington, Indiana – as well as two other men, Alex Stuck and James Tucker. All are being held on charges of mob attack, aggravated battery, and destruction of property and are being held on bonds of at least $150,000.
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