On two separate occasions in February, residents in both Chico and Redding reportedly received racist and antisemetic flyers distributed on their lawns or through newspapers.
On the morning of Feb. 11, the Redding Police Department received reports of over 100 flyers displaying hate speech rhetoric against Jewish people and the LGBT community, which were distributed overnight by an unknown group. At the time of this incident, KRCR reported that this was the fourth time hate-filled flyers were distributed in Redding neighborhoods within the last six months.
Redding Police Department officials announced on social media that they were investigating this issue as a hate incident.
On Feb. 15, residents in Chico and Magalia reportedly received flyers with similar racist and antisemitic messages wrapped in copies of the Chico News & Review. Some of the flyers distributed in Chico depicted white supremacist slogans and advertised a website that focused on white supremacism, antisemitic ideologies, and anti-LGBT ideologies.
Chico News & Review Chief Editor Jason Cassidy said that the publication alerted authorities that same day.
"We got reports from a few readers that our newspapers have been wrapped around by a little flyer – white supremist message on it. We don't deliver papers. Obviously someone got them out of racks and put their messages in and delivered them," Cassidy told Action News Now. “We do want to let people know we don't condone this, we wouldn't allow that kind of advertising in our paper. This was done without our knowledge and we want to reassure the readers this had nothing to do with the Chico News & Review paper.”
Officials are unsure as to which group is responsible for these flyers or whether they are connected. However, officials from Temple Beth Israel in Redding claimed on social media that a group known as the Goyim Defense League – an antisemitic hate group and conspiracy theory network from Sonoma County – is responsible for similar flyers distributed to Redding neighborhoods in August last year.
In response to recent incidents, officials from the nonprofit United Way of Northern California expressed support for local Jewish communities.
“United Way of Northern California condemns this intolerance and stands in solidarity with Jewish people against all forms of antisemitism. Antisemitism has no place in our communities or in our nation,” officials said.