The controversial United Riot Records (URR), a company which produces and sells music for alleged pro-Nazi and skinhead bands, held a live music benefit last Saturday night, according to the concert advertisement on their Facebook page.
URR noted the event would take place on February 11 at 7:00 pm and that funds raised would go to the “Andrew K. Legal Fund.”
According to the record company’s website, Andrew K, whose full name is Andrew Kuklis is a “good friend.”
Kuklis, a 41-year-old man from Patchogue, Long Island, was arrested on Friday, January 13 after a traffic stop in Islip. Troopers found weapons in his car, including an AR-15 rifle, “high capacity magazines,” and a dagger. Cops subsequently found more weapons and ammunition after searching Kuklis’ home.
“We ask that you donate and help our good friend out,” URR writes on the fundraising page. “Andrew is a decorated War Veteran and a loving father to his little girl. He fought for your freedom let’s fight for his.”
Help a Vet in need https://t.co/9gEBj7Gk4k
— United Riot Records (@UNITEDRIOT) January 23, 2017
The location of the venue was kept under wraps on the URR Facebook page. However, NYC Antifa later tweeted that the location was The Place Bar and Lounge at 269 Norman Avenue (at Kingsland Avenue) in Greenpoint.
A woman who answered the bar’s phone confirmed to Brooklyn Pulp that live music took place on February 11. When asked if she was aware of the alleged pro-Nazi background of the bands who performed, she said we needed to speak with Bobby Marin, the owner of the bar, although he would be unable to take calls until Friday night.
A Facebook comment by the band Battle Cry — which was listed as one of the bands on the concert poster — confirmed the event took place. “Everything is on the DL these days cause people try to shut the shows down,” the Facebook post says. “Fucking ridiculous. But great turnout for the true diehard Skins……”
— New York City Antifa (@NYCAntifa) February 14, 2017
“Since 2010, NYC Antifa has been dedicated to research on, and action against, fascist cultural and political organizing in New York City,” Antifa notes on its website.
It was an especially raw weekend between Antifa and the skinhead group 211 Crew.
NYC Antifa’s tweet says, “next day 211 had benefit show…” a reference to violent events which took place on Friday, February 10 at the self-described “punk rock and roll” Clockwork Bar on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
The New York Post first reported that twin brothers were beaten up outside of Clockwork by a group of “neo-Nazis.”
The brothers were beaten by around six or seven men who were dressed in vests with “211 Crew” patches. Some sported brass knuckles to use during their assault. According to police, the men were angered by the anti-fascist Antifa sticker on one of the victim’s cellphone case.
The 211 Crew/211 Bootboys is a skinhead group located in both New York City and the Washington D.C. area. “Rather than explicitly espousing Nazi or white supremacist ideology, bands that perform as part of the crew’s oi punk scene emphasize ultra-nationalism and Islamophobia in their rhetoric and the lyrics,” Gothamist explains. “Meaning white skinheads slam-dance alongside minorities who support some form of nationalism while also sometimes associating with outright neo-Nazis.”
Although the 211 Crew/Bootboys share the same name with the Colorado-based prison gang, it is unclear if the New York and D.C. groups share a direct connection. The 211 Crew in Colorado is also known as the Aryan Alliance and the Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance.
“According to law enforcement, the name of the gang originated from the California penal code for robbery,” writes the Anti-Defamation League. “However, members claim that 211 is a numeric code for BAA, which stands for Brotherhood of Aryan Alliance.”
Although Antifa’s tweet said that the 211 Crew put on the Brooklyn benefit show last Saturday night, we cannot confirm the 211’s involvement.
However, 211 has coordinated shows with United Riot Records in the past, including the notorious Oi Fest which took place last year in New York. After the Nazi salute was used by concertgoers during the Offensive Weapon set at Williamsburg’s (now closed) Black Bear Bar, a social media campaign forced the venue to shut down further Oi Fest performances on the second scheduled night.
“The Oi! skinhead scene don’t have the easiest time finding venues for their bands to play,” writes Brooklyn Vegan. “They have an equally hard time not getting their shows canceled thanks to the efforts of anti-fascist activists Antifa. For that reason, venue names are often kept off flyers and the internet in general.”
In addition to United Riot Records and 211, the bands who played at last Saturday’s show have been accused of previous involvement in pro-Nazi and skinhead circles.
Under the “Skinhead” thread on Reddit, the user “AtomicProm” comments about the “Andrew K. Legal Fund,” noting that proceeds from the purchase of an Offensive Weapon t-shirt will go to the fund. The Southern Poverty Law Center says band members in Offensive Weapon are also part of the 211 Crew.
Battle Cry, another band on last Saturday’s line-up, has been discussed on the White Pride World Wide / Stormfront website. The user “keltic warrior” describes them as “my favorite Pro White Metal band.”
United Riot Records has not responded to our request for comment.