Archive/File: fascism/usa reuter.033095u Last-Modified: 1995/04/02 Hate-motivated assaults

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Archive/File: fascism/usa reuter.033095u Last-Modified: 1995/04/02 Hate-motivated assaults rose sharply in 1994 MONTGOMERY, Ala, March 30 (Reuter) - The annual tally of bias-motivated assaults in the United States rose by more than a fourth last year, with homosexuals bearing the brunt of the violence, a centre that monitors hate-group activities said on Thurdsay. In its annual report to law enforcement agencies, the Klanwatch Project of the Southern Poverty Law Centre also warned that the white supremacist group Aryan Nations is now undergoing a massive expansion after years of decline. The 1994 data showed assaults prompted by the victim's race, ethnic background, religion or social orientation rose to 228 from 183 the previous year. But the number of bias-motivated murders dropped to 18 from 30 in 1993. Klanwatch said it was able to determine that anti-gay bias lay behind 25 percent of the assaults and nearly two-thirds of the murders. The group determines motivation by examining a number of factors including statements made by the assailant, the degree of force used, crime location, robbery and statements made by friends and community leaders. Klanwatch project director Danny Welch said a particularly disturbing development on the hate front last year was the growth experienced by Aryan Nations. The group, which first surfaced in the mid-1970s as Ku Klux Klan influence waned, expanded from three states in 1993 to 18 last year and began distributing its neo-Nazi literature in Europe. While Aryan Nations' gains have come largely from the decline of other white supremacist organisations, Welch said, the development could signal increasing unity among the ranks of organised hatred. ``It's a dangerous situation because they've got the know-how to bring about change within the movement. Under one umbrella, you don't have factional fighting. They're trying to unify,'' he said. He said Aryan Nations also appeared to have benefited from a 1994 U.S. election debate that played heavily on issues such as immigration, inner-city violence, gun control and anti-government sentiment.

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