“Soldiers of Odin” Flyers Found On Campus -Joe Moffett

An SOO flyer found on a bulletin board inside Daniel Hall. Photo Credit: John Henry Murdy.

On March 8, 2018, flyers promoting Soldiers of Odin were discovered outside Hardin Hall on Clemson’s campus. The Soldiers of Odin (SOO) is a White nationalist, anti-immigrant street gang that originated in Finland in October 2015. SOO was founded in response to the Refugee crisis of the past several years. Mika Ranta, the founder of SOO, is a self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi, and the Finnish public broadcaster, Yle, has stated that the private Facebook page for the SOO has shown that many of the higher up members of Soldiers of Odin maintain firm Neo-Nazi beliefs.

In early 2016, it was reported by the Anti-Defamation League that several chapters were being founded in the United States[1] and were utilizing social media as a method to recruit new members. According to a map created by the Soldiers of Odin, the organization now has a chapter in all but eight states within the United States. The local chapter in South Carolina is the Soldiers of Odin Midgard. When this reporter reached out to the Soldiers of Odin, they claimed that “[They] are a community service organization.” Despite the white supremacist positions that the SOO has often possessed, this chapter’s Facebook page contained no suggestions of white supremacy or anti-immigration positions. Instead its Facebook page was filled with pictures of volunteering at an animal shelter, posts warning against human trafficking and child predators, and posts and pictures commending veterans, a surprising sight give the organization’s reputation.

Due to the Soldiers of Odin radical anti-immigration stance, Clemson University issued a email condemning the presence and obstruction of posters and flyers promoting SOO. The email state that “[Clemson] unequivocally condemns such displays as morally repugnant, antithetical to the values of the university, and manifestly inconsistent with Clemson’s strategic priority, as outlined in the Clemson Forward plan, of “creating a climate of inclusive excellence.” In addition to this email, the Tiger Town Observer reached out to assistant director for strategic communications at Clemson University, John Gouch, and asked him for a statement. He responded by saying “I know CUPD asked the building security coordinators in Daniel and Hardin halls to remove them.”

The student who found these flyers was reached out to by the Tiger Town Observer. She did not respond in time for publication.

[1] https://www.adl.org/sites/default/files/documents/assets/pdf/combating-hate/Soldiers-of-Odin-USA-Report-web.pdf