WWU alerts students, staff about hate group posters on campus

Western Washington University warned students and staff Monday about on-campus activity by a white supremacist group that has been recruiting across Whatcom County and other areas of Western Washington.

University Police are investigating the incident involving posters placed on campus Sunday by the group Patriot Front, said WWU spokesman Paul Cocke.

“Western Washington University strongly condemns the white nationalist beliefs of the Patriot Front,” Cocke said in a statement. “Hate will not be tolerated in our community. University officials are on heightened alert for these posters and stickers, which will be removed as soon as possible in accordance with university policy.”

He said university staff removed one poster Monday, and that other posters had been removed by the time staff arrived.

Both the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League — organizations that track hate groups, bigotry and anti-Semitism — have the Patriot Front on their watch lists.

Patriot Front formed as an offshoot of Vanguard America after the deadly 2017 white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Virginia, the Anti-Defamation League said.

Flyers for the group have been placed in Ferndale, Lynden and Fairhaven, as well as other in Washington cities, over the past several weeks.

Cocke urged anyone who sees a Patriot Front poster to call WWU Facilities Management at 360-650-3420.

“They will dispatch staff to remove the posters or stickers on campus property,” Cocke said.

Robert Mittendorf covers civic issues, weather, traffic and how people are coping with the high cost of housing for The Bellingham Herald. A journalist since 1984, he’s also a volunteer firefighter for South Whatcom Fire Authority.