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The Real Story Behind ‘Camp Courage’ And The AFA

About

Xander is a student of Anthropology, and a general history nerd. He focuses on studying Heathen Lore and reconstructing the fragments of the ancient traditions, in order to see how they can be applied to a modern community of believers.

Many Heathens awoke on the morning of September 2nd to the news that the Asatru Folk Assembly’s “Midwest Fallfest” had been kicked out of the camp that they had booked for the event just days before the event was due to take place. Given the recent flurry over the AFA’s statements and stances, the article (written by the “StarTribune”) quickly made the rounds and received a mixed review. While the reporting done on our religious community was refreshingly thorough and honest, many AFA supporters were furious over the accusations made in the article as well as by Camp Courage.

CCpressstatement
*”True Friends” owns and operates “Camp Courage”. Click the clip above to read the entire statement.

Due to the timing of this press release, shortly after a number of highly controversial statements made by the AFA, this news had many of the organization’s proponents pointing fingers at various Heathen organizations. Namely, those which had recently taken the AFA to task. The Troth and H.U.A.R. were among those most commonly accused.

Each of these parties independently denied any responsibility for the phone campaign that resulted in the AFA’s being banned from multiple campgrounds in Minnesota. H.U.A.R. announced their non-participation on their Facebook feed, while The Troth did so on their official blog. It was the Troth that initially discovered the first piece of evidence about who really did get the AFA event shut down. Their brief search of Twitter revealed a local Anti-Fascist (or ‘Antifa’) page called ConflictMN, who tweeted the following. (see below)

camp courage phone thing

ConflictMN seemed to be just boosting the signal, so Huginn’s Heathen Hof reached out to them to see if they knew where it had originated. They responded, explaining that the image had come to them via a burner email with a @riseup.net address. (An address which is apparently fairly common in Anti-Fascist networks.) Likewise, the “StarTribune” was also tipped off to the story by a similar burner email account. This left little choice but to try and track down the image itself since we couldn’t contact the anonymous tipper.

The tweet (see left) turned out to be a cropped screen capture from the Facebook post of a larger Twin Cities area Antifa group, who in turn got it from a smaller group local to Minneapolis. The original post included a header saying “Received and transmitted:”, but the trail seemed to end there. The point of connection actually comes from a single sentence within the original statement.

Quote: “Notably, one of their members Josef Sigmundr is also a member of the Golden State Skinheads who attended a white nationalist-organized pro-Trump rally where a fellow Skinhead stabbed multiple people.”

sacattac
White supremacists violently clashing with Antifa protesters. (From postedtoday.org)

The event in question, which was dubbed “The Battle of Sacramento” by some news outlets, took place on June 26th of this year on the steps of the Sacramento capital building. The event, which was hosted by the Traditionalist Workers Party, was backed by the local Golden State Skinheads. It erupted into a massive conflict between Anti-Fascist protesters and the two groups of white supremacists which resulted in at least ten people being injured. Two of the TWP people were beaten and pelted with rocks, while at least seven protesters ended up being stabbed by the Skinheads.

The Minneapolis Antifa group had recently been involved in a large fundraiser to try and help the Sacramento Antifa protesters that had been injured, particularly the two who had been put in critical condition. Huginn’s Heathen Hof reached out to them in order to verify their claim that one of the Skinheads involved was also a member of the AFA, but they declined to comment. So instead, we tracked down the man mentioned in the post. Who is Mr. Josef Sigmundr?

sigmundrvid2
2 Minutes in. Click to see the video!
Sac-sparred
Screen capture of Matthew Heimbach’s twitter feed.

For that info, we turned to the leader of the Traditionalist Workers Party (Matthew Heimbach), who tweeted the following image of the TWP and GSS members just before they left for the ill-fated march. Josef Sigmundr appears at the far right, wearing a TWP shirt and camouflage shorts. He was also filmed at the march during the conflict that resulted in the stabbing of several protesters and, reportedly, one bystander. So how does all of this link back to the Camp Courage incident?


Just as the above tweet suggests, Josef Sigmundr appears to be a member in good standing of the Asatru Folk Assembly. 
joe sigmundr2
Image and original caption from (asatrufolkassembly.org) *censored to protect the identities of the minors in the image. *

This was quickly confirmed by the AFA’s own website, which features Josef (Joe) Sigmundr helping to refurbish the NewGrange Hall. (see right) In addition, since the AFA’s event lists are viewable to the public, it was possible to track his participation in AFA events from the founding of the hall all the way up to the beginning of 2016. Now we here at Huginn’s Heathen Hof cannot confirm whether or not he was still a member at the time of the stabbings. It should also be noted that, as far as our sources could find, he was not acting on behalf of the AFA at the time. The important thing here is that every piece of information listed in this article is publicly available. These are likely the same sources that were used by the people who originated the phone campaign that got the AFA banned from their campsite.

So it turns out that the rumors of some Heathen group being responsible for setting this in motion are true. It just so happens that that group is the AFA. The Camp Courage incident wasn’t the vindictive act of the Troth, HUAR, or some other Heathen organization. It was retaliation, by an entirely secular Antifa group, who targeted the AFA because one of their members was involved in a conflict which resulted in 7 Sacramento Antifa members being hospitalized. In fact, the Asatru Folk Assembly has been on their radar for quite some time, due to their (unofficial) association with some of these extremist elements. In this particular case the timing of this phone campaign, so shortly after the AFA’s recent controversy, is completely coincidental.

2016 Huginn's Heathen Hof