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'Crying Nazi' expresses hope for return to NH

Union Leader Correspondent

November 20. 2017 5:16AM

KEENE ­— A self-proclaimed white nationalist, who up until recently called Keene home, has spoken about returning to the Elm City.

Christopher Cantwell, who garnered the name the “Crying Nazi,” continues to be held in jail without bail in Virginia.

He was originally charged with three felonies stemming from charges that he allegedly used pepper spray on counter-protesters at the Charlottesville riots in August.

Calling friends while in jail, Cantwell has continued to air new podcasts and has called into Free Talk Live, hosted by Ian Freeman of Keene.

During the Nov. 11 Free Talk Live show Cantwell talked about returning to Keene and made reference to Will Coley, an Imam from Tennessee known as the Redneck Muslim. Coley recently moved to Keene to open a mosque.

“I’m a racist, I’m a white nationalist and I can’t wait to get back to Keene so we can have the Crying Nazi and the Redneck Muslim all in the same place. We’ll be quite the cast of characters,” Cantwell said on Free Talk Live.

Coley said in a recent interview he is uneasy about going through a public hearing process in Keene for his proposed mosque because Cantwell’s statements might bring out anti-Muslim sentiment.

Freeman said Friday he has known Cantwell for many years and he is not sure how serious Cantwell is about the racism he professes.

Cantwell sees his online persona as a business, Freeman said, adding he finds Cantwell’s racist comments despicable.

“I know Chris pretty well. He’s a pretty tough friend to have ... Chris was part of the libertarian movement before he took this racist turn,” said Freeman. “I don’t support racism.”

A judge recently dropped two of the charges against Cantwell; however, bail has yet to be set for him.

“There’s a strong argument that Christopher Cantwell is a political prisoner,” Freeman said, adding that anyone else arrested on similar charges, for say a bar fight, would have had bail set by now.

Freeman said if Cantwell returns to Keene he suspects he would do so to gather his belonging quietly and move away.

“I think he intends to come back and kind of clean up his apartment and put his affairs in order,” Freeman said. “I doubt that Chris is going to be staying in the area.”

Cantwell refers to himself as a "political prisoner" on his website where he has posted podcasts as recently as Saturday. He has also raised nearly $30,000 of his $75,000 goal on his online “Justice Fund."

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