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Multiple Massachusetts Councilmembers Receive Antisemitic Goyim Defense League (GDL) Flyers

Weeks after online callers disrupted a Worcester City Council meeting with racist and transphobic remarks, several city councilors say the vitriol has now spilled over into antisemitic and anti-transgender mailings.

Councilor-at-Large Thu Nguyen shared photos of the flyers on Facebook last week, with one showing a slur-ridden diatribe directed at transgender women and the other employing Holocaust denialism and antisemitic conspiracy theories.

The Jewish advocacy group StopAntisemitism has been tracking the activities of those responsible – the Goyim Defense League’ or ‘GDL’ for over five years and state they vilify Jews with their premeditated hate campaigns.

Nguyen, the first openly nonbinary person elected in Massachusetts, said multiple Worcester city councilors received the mailings. 

“This is outrageously disgusting, we condemn this level of hate,” they wrote on Facebook. “It has no place anywhere and absolutely not in politics despite these folks targeting us.”

Nguyen attributed the mailings to the Goyim Defense League, a loose organization known for producing such vitriolic leaflets.

The same hate group was reportedly behind the distribution of antisemitic flyers in Chatham and Peabody in 2022, and in West Brookfield last August. 

The latest flyers come less than two weeks after remote participants disrupted the Jan. 23 Worcester City Council meeting with inflammatory rhetoric. According to Councilor-at-Large Khrystian E. King, the body’s vice chairman, one speaker used the N-word and another made a derogatory comment about transgender people.

King took to social media to condemn the hateful mailings, which he said were postmarked in California.

“Such despicable rhetoric must be unequivocally denounced and I am further calling on the City of Worcester to commence with a full-fledged investigation into the origins and authors of these repulsive acts in order to ensure the safety of all those impacted by the rhetoric,” he wrote in a statement.

Reflecting on Worcester’s identity, King added: “We truly are the heart of the Commonwealth. There is no place for hate here.”

According to the Telegram & Gazette, Mayor Joseph M. Petty and at least five other city councilors also received the flyers.  

“I respect the fact that the First Amendment gives folks a lot of leeway,” Councilor-at-Large Morris Bergman, who is Jewish, told the newspaper. “But by the same token, it doesn’t mean it’s not offensive. And it is offensive to me and I’m sure it’s offensive to my colleagues.”