Neo-Nazis return to Winter Park

neo Nazi Winter Park image via Eskamani X account
White supremacists continue to feel safe to demonstrate on some of Florida's busiest streets with no fear of reprisal.

A Democratic state legislator from Central Florida is calling attention to neo-Nazi demonstrators who once again are in Winter Park at the corner of Lee Road and Orlando Avenue.

“Sad to report that Nazi scum and losers are back in Winter Park, holding their disgusting flags and banner. Working with local officials to see what options we have for accountability,” posted Rep. Anna V. Eskamani to social media on Saturday.

The group, photographed by a constituent of Eskamani’s, was brandishing a Nazi flag, a Confederate battle flag, and signs that appeared to say “We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children” and “Jews love genocide.”

The Florida Highway Patrol is said to be responding to this incident, and we will update if we get more information.

Purported Nazi demonstrations have been on the uptick of late, with increased brazenness and visibility of the groups in Central Florida and elsewhere.

They were seen last summer near Disney World. In 2022, a group of neo-Nazis lined a bridge in eastern Orange County, hanging the swastika flag and banners — including a banner with the pro-Donald Trump slogan “Let’s Go Brandon” — and yelling profanities and antisemitic slurs at passing cars.

We have reached out to the Governor’s Office for comment. Of course, the Governor’s political operation has been dealing with seemingly avoidable controversies regarding neo-Nazis for some time.

In a tweet posted after the 2022 incident and later deleted, former Gov. Ron DeSantis press secretary Christina Pushaw responded to Twitter outrage over the Orlando Nazi demonstration by asking, “Do we even know they’re Nazis?”

Pushaw then sought to clarify that statement. “I don’t know what you mean by ‘denying Nazis.’ I was referring to this event in VA, when a group of Democrats dressed up as White supremacists to discredit a (Glenn) Youngkin rally,” she told Florida Politics at the time.

Similar demonstrations where people wore Nazi regalia and brandished pro-DeSantis flags have happened in recent years, but the Orlando event seemed to lack any material purportedly promoting the Governor.

Last year, former senior aides to his presidential campaign oversaw the creation and distribution of a video featuring a Nazi symbol: the Sonnenrad, a circular symbol associated with Nazi Germany that appears near the end of the clip as something of a halo around the Governor’s head.

DeSantis’ campaign fired one aide, speechwriter Nate Hochman, who shared the video and reportedly had a hand in creating it. Hochman has since written a tell-all condemning the “downright embarrassing” campaign that let him go.

DeSantis claimed last year that he was “second to none” when it came to reacting “swiftly and decisively” to neo-Nazi protests when asked to respond to claims from Rep. Randy Fine, a former supporter of his who now backs Donald Trump, that DeSantis’ Florida turned a deliberate blind eye to neo-Nazi threats in recent months and years.

In the Washington Times, Fine wrote that he was “jumped by a Nazi in Florida” two weeks ago, and that’s “no big deal” in DeSantis’ Florida. DeSantis said Fine was just looking for his “15 minutes of fame.”

The latest neo-Nazi sighting comes as issues involving flags and the Confederacy are stalling out in the Senate. President Kathleen Passidomo told reporters a bill banning Pride flags from government buildings stalled out in committee and likely had no path, and that she likely wouldn’t bring a measure protecting Confederate monuments to the Senate floor since it was “weaponized” by opponents and proponents.

A.G. Gancarski

A.G. Gancarski has written for FloridaPolitics.com since 2014. He is based in Northeast Florida. He can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter: @AGGancarski


29 comments

  • Michael K

    February 17, 2024 at 3:31 pm

    White supremacists all find safe harbor in the party of Trump, DeSantis and the Putin apologists in what remains of the GOP.

    • Ernest Walker

      February 18, 2024 at 11:00 am

      Bullshit

    • My Take

      February 21, 2024 at 6:12 am

      GOPstapo Trumptroopers.
      Not so out of place in a red state.

  • PeterH

    February 17, 2024 at 4:00 pm

    Fun Fact:
    Today’s Republican Party of White can not possibly win elections without the support of Nazis, racist, misogynist, fraudsters and white nationalists! Couple these basket of deplorables with the GQP’s deliberate disenfranchisement of the voting electorate through voter suppression and gerrymandering……and you are left with a march toward a right wing totalitarian dictatorship.

    Republicans are America’s worst enemy!

    Vote all Republicans out of office!

    • Me

      February 17, 2024 at 4:36 pm

      You’re a prick. Most conservatives don’t agree at all with that nazi scum. But it’s the lefties that are killing this country.

      • JA Armst

        February 17, 2024 at 10:10 pm

        Do you even read what you write, Comrade?

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 18, 2024 at 10:04 pm

          Lie down with dogs, get fleas.

      • Polk County conservative

        February 18, 2024 at 6:58 pm

        Agreed!
        They need to post outrage when the left marches and riots!
        Here’s a little history lesson for all….
        KKK was started by democrats after Lincoln freed the slaves.

        • MH/Duuuval

          February 19, 2024 at 10:53 am

          Please, join us in the 21st century where we know that the major parties switched identities in the 1960s and ’70s.

          • My Take

            February 21, 2024 at 6:17 am

            All Klansmen vote GOP now.
            Have for decades.

      • Jane Hunter

        February 19, 2024 at 12:09 am

        People to the left are not killing this country but comments like yours are since you are showing hatred toward people you don’t agree with.

    • Tom

      February 17, 2024 at 8:27 pm

      This is a ridiculous claim to make. Yes, there are some ignorant racist in our country but I think it’s safe to say there are more per capita in most other countries particularly maybe in somewhere like Ukraine a place that we’re funding or depending on you view that particular situation Israel? This could go on and on the fact that there’s a couple idiots with signs in downtown, Orlando has nothing to do with Republicans and I am not a Republican I just want to stop devaluing our dollar is first and foremost and close second stop fighting pointless wars, and funding them as well.

      • MH/Duuuval

        February 17, 2024 at 9:04 pm

        “…it’s safe to say there are more per capita in most other countries particularly maybe in somewhere like Ukraine.”

        You will be shocked to learn that your views about Nazis in the Ukraine is in line with Putin’s views rationalizing his vicious assaults on Ukraine.

    • Ernest Walker

      February 18, 2024 at 11:00 am

      Bullshit

      • MH/Duuuval

        February 18, 2024 at 4:10 pm

        Deep, man, deep!

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  • Phil Morton

    February 17, 2024 at 7:55 pm

    DeSantis supporters return to Winter Park. Fixed the headline for you.

  • David Attella

    February 17, 2024 at 10:58 pm

    Gotta love those Republifascists

  • John

    February 18, 2024 at 7:12 am

    If Black Lives Matter can fly their flags, and they gay pride can fly their flags quit being a hypocrite and let them fly their own flags. You promote hate when you do stuff like that grow up people there should be only one flag, and it should be the United States flag United we stand divided we fall, and that what the politicians want you to do is fall Quit being so ignorant and grow up

    • jo028229

      February 18, 2024 at 10:42 am

      John, I’m not so sure that all politicians want you to fall. There are several still in Washington and Tallahassee fighting the good fight so that people like you and me can stand tall and even ascend to a higher height. But you are correct that many seem to be in those locations for their own self-serving reasons, but even they aren’t thinking about wanting you to fall, they are actually not thinking about you at all. You are correct though in your take that hate speech coming from either side is still hate speech whether the intent is to promote more equality, have a place to live without fear, or praising Hitler, Mussolini, and fascism.

      The Declaration of Independence via the Constitution declared every citizen of the United States as equal, why is it so hard for “We, The People” to make this a reality?

  • Anthony

    February 18, 2024 at 8:14 am

    I don’t agree or like what they do and totally against it. But unfortunately like mentioned earlier if gay can fly thier flags and black lives can so can they. I only believe in one flag the American patriotic flag which I fly high in my yard. Also our Pow and military flags. 🪖 🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸🇺🇸

    • john doe

      February 19, 2024 at 10:06 am

      these are not the same. Nazi flags hate, Gay pride and black lives matter are a movement to show injustice and not to eradicate others such as the quote that was on a poster stating “jews love genocide” if you believe these two things are the same you are ignorant.

  • Joe Alberti

    February 18, 2024 at 8:36 am

    DeSantis is quick to condemn and pass laws affecting the LGBTQ community who are as a whole very patriotic and love this country. Instead he turns a blind eye to White suprematist Neo Nazi groups. What disgrace.

  • Lan Mann

    February 18, 2024 at 10:57 am

    Nazis are a minor fringe group which is routinely condemned and shouted down by the vast majority of whites. On the other hand, the liberal Marxists favorite white supremacy hate group, the KKK, still thrives in a couple dozen states throughout the US. An interesting fact: when former KKK leader and US Senator Robert Byrd died, he was eulogized at his funeral by Presidents Biden, Obama and Clinton.

    • MH/Duuuval

      February 18, 2024 at 4:05 pm

      The Klan had a revival in the 1920s and among other things held a huge march in Washington, DC. It was particularly strong in the Midwest.

      Byrd as a young man was a Klan member, but he later renounced his membership and apologized.

      What I remember about Byrd is that when Reagan and his followers began to sport the now-ubiquitous American flag lapel pin, Byrd wore a lapel pin depicting the Constitution.

  • jo028229

    February 18, 2024 at 11:50 am

    I think this group of white demonstrators are highly confused and believe in backing proven losers-CSA and Nazi Germany. Maybe an education in inaccurate history could be at fault. Blame the educator, not the student. I’ve heard of the use of reverse psychology, but reverse history doesn’t sound helpful. Either way, I would assume wearing either Union military dress of the 1860s or a 1940s winter parka, a ushanka (fur hat), and brandishing the flag of the CCCP, and banners promoting the ideas, “We must secure the existence of all people and a future for all children” and “Nobody loves genocide” could be a way to properly counter this protest. I mean who would scare a Confederate or Nazi sympathizer more than sympathizers of those who defeated them?

  • George Mann

    February 18, 2024 at 12:15 pm

    I am a Jew and obviously despise everything about Nazis, White Supremacists, et al. Yet, I would fight for their right to display whatever they want, hold parades, etc. This is America and we need the freedom to do such. In the end, these fringe groups are hated by 99.999999999999% of Americans and get nowhere with their hate.

  • George

    February 18, 2024 at 3:32 pm

    Is Christina Pushaw back in Central Florida?

  • Dont Say FLA

    February 20, 2024 at 3:08 pm

    I’ve got a brilliant idea to solve this and solve school shootings at the same time!

    Kids, whenever you feel like going to school and shooting the place up with your AR style rifle, please instead go to a Nazi parade and shoot that up. People will thank you.

Comments are closed.


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