Local activists are objecting to a metal music festival this weekend in Oakland due to some performers’ use of Nazi-related imagery and what the critics consider connections to hate groups.
Never Surrender Fest, organized by metal labels Nuclear War Now and Iron Bonehead, features more than 20 artists Oct. 18-20 at Elbo Room Jack London and the Oakland Metro Operahouse.
An anonymous blog post published Thursday has spurred calls to protest the festival. "Let's strategize how we shut this down," reads the Facebook page "NO NAZI FESTs in Oakland." The blog post focuses on what it calls the “neo-Nazi ties” of four scheduled performers.
As the event’s detractors point out, the Florida band Black Witchery released a DVD in 2009 on Satanic Skinhead Propaganda, an underground label well-known for its racist and anti-Semitic acts. California act Bone Awl has used swastikas and a totenkopf, the German symbol adopted by the Third Reich and popular among white supremacists, on its album art.
Eduardo Ramirez, booked at the fest as Volahn, leads Black Twilight Circle, a collective of largely Aztec- and Mayan-themed metal groups in Southern California. The blog post includes what it says is a photograph of Ramirez posing with Wolves of Vinland cofounder Paul Waggener, whose outfit the Southern Poverty Law Center calls a “Neo-Volkisch hate group.”