© 2023 Connecticut Public

FCC Public Inspection Files:
WEDH · WEDN · WEDW · WEDY · WNPR
WPKT · WRLI-FM · WEDW-FM · Public Files Contact
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Leader of New England hate group facing civil charges for racist display in Portsmouth

 Attorney General John Formella announced a civil complaint had been filed against NSC-131 during a press conference in Portsmouth on Tuesday.
Todd Bookman/NHPR
/
Attorney General John Formella announced a civil complaint had been filed against NSC-131 during a press conference in Portsmouth on Tuesday.

The New Hampshire Attorney General’s office has filed a civil rights case against NSC-131, a hate group active in New England, as well as its leader and another member, for allegedly trespassing and then hanging a racist banner in Portsmouth last summer.

Prosecutors allege in court documents released Tuesday that the group violated the state’s civil rights statute when it tied a banner over a highway overpass containing the phrase "Keep New England White."

Authorities filed the civil charges against the group, as well as its purported leader, Christopher Hood of Newburyport, Mass., and Leo Anthony Cullinan, a Manchester resident. NSC-131 describes itself as a “pro-white, street oriented fraternity,” according to court documents. Along with public displays of racist banners and materials, it has also attempted to disrupt drag shows at venues across New England in recent years.

At a press conference in Portsmouth Tuesday, New Hampshire Attorney General John Formella said his office is continuing to investigate other alleged incidents involving NSC-131 for possible charges.

“We will continue to watch carefully. We will continue to investigate these incidents when they happen,” he said. 

NSC-131, or the Nationalist Social Club, has been identified by the Anti-Defamation League as a New England-based neo-Nazi group founded in 2019 that “espouses racism, antisemitism and intolerance” and whose “membership is a collection of neo-Nazis and racist skinheads, many of whom have previous membership in other white supremacist groups.”

The group has been involved in other acts of racist intimidation in New Hampshire, including graffiti and threatening a Latino state lawmaker.

According to the Department of Justice, Portsmouth police received 911 calls about the banners last summer. When officers responded, they saw about 12 men on the overpass wearing hats, sunglasses and face coverings emblazoned with “NSC-131," or “131." The officers told them the banners couldn't be hung from the overpass without a permit.

Hood, the group’s leader, spoke with authorities for about 20 minutes before the group disbursed. Images of the banner later appeared on the group’s social media channels.

“Hate, intimidation, and divisiveness are simply not part of the fabric of this great city of Portsmouth,” said Portsmouth Police Chief Mark Newport. “They are just not our values.”

Copyright 2023 New Hampshire Public Radio. To see more, visit New Hampshire Public Radio.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
Associated Press

Stand up for civility

This news story is funded in large part by Connecticut Public’s Members — listeners, viewers, and readers like you who value fact-based journalism and trustworthy information.

We hope their support inspires you to donate so that we can continue telling stories that inform, educate, and inspire you and your neighbors. As a community-supported public media service, Connecticut Public has relied on donor support for more than 50 years.

Your donation today will allow us to continue this work on your behalf. Give today at any amount and join the 50,000 members who are building a better—and more civil—Connecticut to live, work, and play.