The Hammerskin Nation is the most violent and best-organized neo-Nazi skinhead group in the World. As a former member of WHS and HSN, I would like to give you some back ground on this group that is now starting its third decade of Hate.
This Nation of HATE stated in 1987 as a group of young skinheads got together and decided to form a group; they just needed a name. Many ideas were tossed around; finally Confederate Hammer Skins was the chosen name. After all they were from the south, so they used the Confederate Battle Flag with the marching Hammers form Pink Floyd’s movie The WALL. Apparently, it was a wise decision on their part. Little did anyone know it would flourish into what is today the largest skinhead group on the globe. With that, the very first Hammerskin chapter was born. Sean and Liz Tarrant, Jon Jordan, Michael Lawrence, Christopher Greer and Daniel Wood became the founding members. CHS (as they were known) intended to set the standard amongst skinheads in the U.S. Hammerskins wanted to show people that there were the best and that they would promote the 14 words. “We must secure the excitant of our race and a future for white children.”
In early 1988 Hammerskins attend marches in Pulaski, Tennessee, and the Sedition Trials in Ft. Smith, Arkansas. By summer of 1988, skinheads in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, Oklahoma; Waco, Texas; and Memphis, Tennessee, became part of the CHS phenomena. Christopher Jones, Daniel “RIP” Roush and Forrest Hyde fast became leader in CHS in Oklahoma. Almost simultaneously Hammerskins chapter began to spurt up everywhere. Holland moved north to Detroit and Helped to form Northern Hammerskin or NHS (as they were known).
CHS and NHS were flourishing . Around the same time of the first Aryan Fest was in the works, in Oklahoma. Aryan Fests were always used as a way to bring skinheads together. TheHammerskin used the Aryan Fest to expand, making connection with skinhead from all over the US.
After Aryan Fest `88 the Springfield, Missouri, chapter of CHS was founded. TheHammerskin presence was becoming a formidable one. Another contact was made in late 1988. This time it would take Hammerskins to the east coast and Portland, Maine. This chapter would be the beginning of what is now EHS.Towards the latter months of 1988 aHammerskin chapter sprung up in Hollister, in Northern California. They used the name CHSas well, because there was no official WHS yet. This chapter came about from contacts made with WAR skins when Holland NHS met them on the set of the Oprah Winfrey talk show, in Chicago, in 1987. By the end of 1989 Hammerskins were BI-coastal. Aryan Fest 1989 was another chance to forge strong bonds with skinheads from around the US and World wide.
“I can’t help but feel that we are our worst enemies at times“as Liz Tarrent would later say, by the fall of 1989 Hammerskins were experiencing the problems of rumors, gossip, back stabbing, and in fighting was the typical norm, no Hammer at this time was immune from it destroying power. “Much of our growth, I believe, was due to the heavy publicity in the beginning“, Liz would comment. The friendship with Tom Metzger, at the time, led to a lot of exposure in the WAR (White Aryan Resistance) newspaper and Aryan Fest videos; these along with other zines such as, Blood and Honor, Pure Impact, Final War, and numerous lesser ones, were promoting Hammerskin and made them a household name in the Skinhead movement. Calls from TV shows such as, 60 Minutes, 20/20, amongst others were badgering for interviews. The exposure has a two edged sword, while the media exposure help swell the numbers of Hammerskins it also help to make them a target for law enforcement agencies at the same time. At that point, people wanted to either became aHammerskin or kill one. They had all the attention they ask for and the Hammerskin had to learn their lesson the hard way.
In the fall of 1989, Indictments were handed down, in which 5 member of the Dallas CHSwere convicted on “conspiracy to violate the civil rights of blacks and Jews”. The sentences ranged from 4 1/2 - 9 1/2 years. Similar charges would follow with Christopher Jones, Daniel “RIP” Roush and Forrest Hyde, being convicted. Hammerskins were learning the hard way
At some point during late `89, or early 1990, an Eastern Hammerskin chapter was
founded and out west, a group of skinheads in Phoenix, Arizona, set themselves up as AHS, Arizona Hammerskins founded by Jimmy "Soda Pop" Miller. Jimmy was
convicted of firebombed a residence he mistakenly thought was occupied by rival skinheads and defaced a synagogue. He was sentenced to five years for these crimes, but only served two years in prison. At the same time in Southern California, Western Hammer Skins, were founded . At the for front of the chapters was Ashley Brown, Dave Van VanVooris and Paul Smith, and Geremy Reinnman.
The ground work had been laid, and in the first 2 and half years, and Hammerskins were now a fully functioning National Organization.
The next event of major importance was the formation of “Hammerskin Nation“in late 1990 and early 1991. The concept was designed to do away with the regional titles at first: CHS, NHS, EHS, and WHS along with the regional patches were to done away with, and were to unite under one common Hammerskin Nation banner. Hammerskins had divided themselves and it was time to remove all the walls of division., If Hammerskins were to represent one Nation and one Volk, then it was time to, became a Hammerskin Nation! Yet, the regions would win out in the end and keep their regional patches in addition to having to wear the new Hammerskin Nation patch.
Hammerskin Nation became much more technologically savvy, starting or helped to promote many skinhead shows throughout the world, and produced a few publications. Many Hammerskin band were the driving force behind the birth of the racist record label Resistance Records.
One of the most important moments in the expansion of HSN history was the
inception ofHammerskins Nation in Europe, under the watchful eye of Ed of NHS. Hammerskin Nationspread internationally into Switzerland, Northern Ireland, Germany, France, the Czech Republic, England, Italy, Spain and the Netherlands. By 1993 Hammerskins would claim Australia, Canada. Canadian skinheads were welcomed under the NHS banner. Several other Canadian cities such as Montreal, Winnipeg, Ottawa and Surrey, British Columbia. Would become what is known today as VHS, Vinland Hammer Skins.
In 1999 a National Conference Meeting for HSN was held,followed by a concert, billed as Hammerfest. Which was a big success for HSN, in the fact that it helped to strengthen the brotherhood in the now world wide racist group. At the meeting regional boundaries were redrawn to make way for a two new regions, and MHS, Midland Hammerskins was Founded and a short time late NWHS, Northwest Hammerskin were founded.
Form the founded of CHS to the birth of Hammerskin Nation member of this skinhead gang have been charged with murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to commit murder, violation of civil right and hate crimes. As Hammerskin Nation enters its 20th year, it seams they will remain the most dangerous skinhead gang in the US.