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CW: The following article contains uncensored quotes that include racial slurs.
Western Guard NZ, a white supremacist group which gained media attention for postering the University of Auckland on March 20, has less than 12 active members.
Herbert Sands, who chose to keep their real name anonymous, spoke with Salient and described the group as “inept.” Sands suggested that the members were “desperate,” “mostly men,” and “quite liked attention.”
Sands joined the group intending to infiltrate and expose “behind closed doors” discussions. The vetting process involved creating a fake Facebook profile and providing some personal details through a web form.
Upon passing the vetting process, Sands was added to a private Western Guard NZ Facebook group.
At the time of print, screenshots acquired by Salient show there were 29 members in the Facebook group, of which Sands reported “under a dozen are actually active.” He identified “maybe five signups since [the postering activity].”
A spokesperson from the public Western Guard Facebook page told Salient that recent postering activity had led to “a huge increase of membership” of “well over 50 applications.”
Discussion threads from the Facebook group suggest that members had attempted a poster run at VUW on Saturday, March 25.
A post by “Wahine Irirangi” [from what Salient learned about the group, members Facebook accounts are fake] on March 24 stated, “When we go live tomorrow we will receive a mix of confusion and shock, and incredibly angry little cucks who will try form antifa blocks against us.”
On March 27, Salient identified one Western Guard poster on campus. It stated “Wellington Division Now Open” and was located on Mount Street, tucked into a hidden corner of the Student Union Building.
It had been partially torn and was next to an antifascist sticker.
Another thread in the Facebook group reflected on the failure of the poster run in Wellington, with member “Lloyd Gretton” stating, “I suspect the police were directed to immediately surreptiously [sic] remove them.”
A “Location Call” poll of the Facebook group’s membership, conducted on March 21, revealed that three members identified as being located in Wellington. The majority, 13, were based in Auckland.
In addition to the failed poster run in Wellington, the information provided by Herbert Sands suggested that one of the main concerns of the group is cultivating a palatable public persona.
“They seem to think that […] when everyone else has the same understanding as them, they can reveal their true colours and then everyone else will join them.”
On the Facebook group, a post by “Helen Smith” said, “Privately almost everyone here I’m certain is Natsoc/white nationalist, but our public image will be toned down slightly — what this means is using ‘nonwhite’ instead of nigger/sandnigger/chink etc or ‘shadowy cabal of globalist bankers’ instesd [sic] of jew/kike etc.”
Despite all identifying as white supremacists, there are fractures in the group’s cohesiveness, with the views of some members at odds with others on the approach they should have to issues of sexuality, race, and finances.
Although Sands suggested that, due to its low and inept membership, Western Guard NZ has little chance of implementing national socialism, he revealed they were “in talks” with an American white-nationalist organisation, Vanguard America, and had shared poster design.
However, this link is also tenuous, as comments by members on the private Facebook page refer to support and approval by “American Vanguard”, which is actually a US-based manufacturer of agricultural chemicals.