North central N.D. location sought by white supremacists .
ANTLER, N.D.--A group of white supremacists is once again eyeing a small North Dakota town as the potential location for a community of their own. In an email, Craig Cobb, who attempted to turn Leith, N.D., into an all-white enclave, included a n...
ANTLER, N.D.-A group of white supremacists is once again eyeing a small North Dakota town as the potential location for a community of their own.
In an email, Craig Cobb, who attempted to turn Leith, N.D., into an all-white enclave, included a number of links regarding plans for the small town of Antler, N.D., in Bottineau County 2 miles from the Canadian border.
Discussion on the linked websites indicates an initiative is brewing.
It's called Antler, ND PLE, the acronym standing for Pioneer Little Europe, a white nationalist movement which encourages its followers to relocate to remote locations and form communities.
Cobb says he hopes to crowdsource the project, raising about $70,000 to purchase property in the first of likely multiple campaigns.
"We'll just try, and hopefully we'll have some success," said Cobb, who is acting as a link between the seller and interested buyers.
The crowdfunding campaign has yet to launch on Indiegogo.com.
Antler Mayor Bruce Hanson, 63, said he hadn't yet heard of Cobb's intentions to buy property on Thursday night.
"It's all news to me," he said. "I hadn't heard anything. I know there's property for sale in town here, but I hadn't heard about any property changing hands."
About 20 people reside in the town, according to Hanson, who said he's lived in Antler since 1980. He's been mayor for the past three years, his second stint since moving to Antler.
Cobb first garnered national attention in 2013 when he purchased 12 lots in the town of Leith with the intent to turn it into white nationalist community. The town of less than 20 residents gained national attention as community leaders and residents attempted to push Cobb and his allies out of the town. The small community played host to protests against Cobb's plans.
He eventually left Leith after being convicted of felony terrorizing and menacing residents when he led an armed patrol through the town in November 2013. He deeded his property back to the city a short time later.
Now, his attention has turned to Antler, a town founded in 1905. The town is 17 miles west of Sherwood, N.D.--Cobb's current town of residence.
Cobb said he has been negotiating with a seller for a couple of months and noted there are 28 lots and three homes for sale in the city. The town's proximity to Canada is something Cobb said he hopes convinces Canadians to settle in the potential community.
"It's really pretty hard to stop anybody from coming into town and buying stuff," Hanson said. "It's kind of a private enterprise thing."
The Antler, ND PLE initiative also has a social media following.
At first, a Facebook page called "Antler, ND" seems to be a page for the small town, but the tagline "We will have our PLE in North Dakota. UnityND will not be stopping us!" is the first hint it represents something different.
UnityND is an organization that aims to confront hate and racism in the state, according to its website. A message seeking comment from UnityND was not returned by press time.
The page encourages those looking for freedom speech, GMO-free food and the company of likeminded people to consider buying property in the town.
"This new PLE effort, it's not about hate. It was never about hate, but we want to make it clear it's not about hate..." the page says in a June 8 post. "I just want to be in a town with my people, and only my people. Is that too much to ask?"
In addition to those features, Cobb said he'd also like to see a the town's crime rate kept low and an animal shelter established.
The Antler, ND PLE page is less than a week old and has 46 likes. Other posts include an invite to an officer currently under fire in McKinney, Texas, for pushing a 15-year-old black girl to the ground and links to new stories of crimes with white victims.
A similar Facebook page was created for the Leith initiative in 2013 and has drawn 1,875 likes.
A page administrator recently posted about Antler, ND PLE, urging followers to take action, as a related Pioneering Little Europe page has more likes than UnityND's page.
On May 10, the page posted a picture of Cobb holding a sign reading "PLE."
The Antler, ND page administrator did mention the failed Leith venture in a June 8 post.
"We 'rayciss bigots' want to live with each other, we don't want to bother anyone," they wrote. "That's what we wanted to do in Leith, and there was no problem until you guys came along. Hell Cobb lived there for a year without incident, so you can't blame him."
Cobb said he doesn't intend on moving to Antler unless the city changes its law to allow horses within city limits.