PORTSMOUTH — A 32-year-old Portsmouth man was among two people arrested last month in East Providence after they allegedly posted white nationalist recruitment signs in that city, according to police.
Stephen Farrea, of 37 Souza Way, was charged by East Providence police with obstructing an officer in execution of duty, trespassing, and violating a city ordinance. All are misdemeanors.
The flyers stated that a “social club of nationalists from New England” are focused on “building a network of likeminded men and women dedicated to defending their lands and their people.”
Similar signs were found along the route of the Bristol Fourth of July parade and in Providence, according to multiple reports.
According to East Providence police, two officers responded to the area of the Silver Spring Elementary School in that city around 7:15 p.m. on June 21 after receiving a report of several men posting signs on telephone poles.
The officers found posters on numerous poles which promoted the New England-based Nationalist Socialist Club 131, according to police.
The officers caught up to five men in the front parking lot of the Gordon School, and approached them. A man later identified as Farrea acknowledged that he and others were hanging posters on telephone poles, according to police.
The other man who was arrested, later identified as Austin Conti, 26, of Arizona, was asked about the stack of papers he was holding. “Conti folded the stack of papers in half and advised if I wanted to see them, I could look on the telephone poles in the area,” according to the police report.
After being told they were trespassing on the Gordon School’s private property, all of the men declined to provide identification at the time, police said.
Farrea was charged with obstruction because he first admitted hanging the posters and then denied it, according to police.
After being issued summonses, Farrea and Conti were released from police custody around 1 a.m. on June 22.
According to the police report, Farrea works at Cargill Meat Processing in North Kingstown, and Conti is unemployed.
What the signs said
One of the signs posted in East Providence, which resembled the others found in Bristol and Providence, read as follows: “We are a social club of nationalists from New England focused on building a network of likeminded men & women dedicated to defending their lands and their people. We oppose the criminal anti-American & anti-white street gangs such as MS13, Black Lives Matter, and Antifa. We are for us, by use, and against those against us.
“Above all we stand for the security and prosperity of white New Englanders. Our motivations to carry out this mission do not come from a place of hatred, but a love for our own people. No one else will protect us!”
Another sign had a banner reading, “Have you seen this man?” along with a profile in shadow superimposed with a question mark. It went on to state, “Politically engaged, action oriented, motivate to make change, white male 18+years of age, located in the New England area.”
Both signs included an e-mail so people could contact the organization for more information.