George Burdi

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George Burdi
Also known as George Eric Hawthorne
Born 1970 (age 46–47)
Canada
Genres Goth metal
Occupation(s) Singer
Years active 1988–2007
Associated acts RaHoWa

George Burdi, also known as George Eric Hawthorne (born 1970), is a retired Canadian musician who became known for his role in white nationalist organizations. He led the Canadian branch of the World Church of the Creator, which formed an allegiance with the now-defunct White nationalist organization Heritage Front. In addition, Burdi was involved in the white power music scene, performing with the band RaHoWa.[1]

Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, and was sentenced to one year in prison. Upon his release from prison, Burdi renounced racism.

Early life[edit]

Burdi was born in 1970 to an Italian immigrant father and a Ukrainian mother.

Activism[edit]

Burdi came into contact with the White nationalist movement through the father of his then German girlfriend. He became an active White nationalist at the age of 18, and by the age of 21, was the leader of the Canadian branch of the World Church of the Creator, which at its peak had fewer than 20 members.[2] During this period, he wrote a number of articles for the Church of the Creator newspaper, Racial Loyalty, using the name "Rev. Eric Hawthorne" (including the January 1992 cover story, "Enter the Racial Holy War"). He has been credited with helping to secure the survival of Creativity after the death, in 1993, of its founder Ben Klassen.[3]

RaHoWa[edit]

Using the pseudonym "Reverend George Eric Hawthorne", Burdi formed the racist skinhead band RaHoWa in 1989. The band's name was derived from the phrase Racial Holy War.[1] RaHoWa was one of the largest hate-rock bands throughout the 1990s.[citation needed]

Burdi was the founding president of Resistance Records, which was the distributor for his band, and other White nationalist bands. The company also operated a web site, and published a magazine, Resistance, which covered the white nationalist music scene.

Reckzin incident[edit]

In Ottawa, on May 29, 1993, after a RaHoWa concert which was picketed by Anti-Racist Action protesters, Burdi and the leader of the White nationalist Heritage Front, Wolfgang Droege, led their supporters on a march to Parliament Hill, chanting sieg heil, making racist remarks, and giving Roman Salutes. At Parliament Hill, the two addressed their followers.

Burdi then led the group to the Chateau Laurier, where he led a charge across the street to confront protesters. During the charge, Alicia Reckzin was struck on the head while running from Burdi's supporters. When she fell, she was kicked several times on her right side; Reckzin later reported having seen Burdi kick her in the face.[citation needed]

In 1995, as a result of the violent confrontation, Burdi was convicted of assault causing bodily harm, and sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. Burdi appealed both his conviction and the sentence, but on February 14, 1997, the Court of Appeal for Ontario upheld the lower court's 1995 decision (O.J. No. 554 No. C21788/C21820), and Burdi began his sentence. The court "ruled him out as the kicker," but he was found guilty of vicarious liability by having led the charge across the street. Burdi continues to deny having assaulted Reckzin.

Renunciation of racism[edit]

In 1997, much of Resistance Record's inventory and business paraphernalia were seized in an April raid by the Oakland County (Michigan) Sheriff's Department, the Michigan Department of the Treasury, and the Ontario Provincial Police. The same day this raid was carried out in Michigan, Burdi was arrested in Windsor, Ontario, for contravening the Criminal Code provisions against promoting hatred.

Convicted in Windsor, Burdi was able to avoid a jail sentence with the condition that he not be involved with RaHoWa or Resistance Records. He sold the company to Willis Carto who soon sold it to National Alliance head William Luther Pierce.[4][5] Burdi then renounced White nationalism.[6][7]

Novacosm[edit]

In 1998 Burdi founded the multi-racial band Novacosm.[8] The band, with Burdi on vocals and guitar, B. Valentine on bass and Sy Sylver on guitar, began performing publicly in 2001, and released some recordings as mp3s. Novacosm released onecompact disc, Everything Forever, in 2003.[9]

In 2007, Burdi recorded an acoustic version of the Rahowa song "Ode to a Dying People" and released it on the Novacosm MySpace. That year, Novacosm recorded a new version of "Ode to a Dying People", which Burdi had recorded with RaHoWa and released on the band's 1995 album, Cult of the Holy War.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Kirsten Dyck (3 October 2016). Reichsrock: The International Web of White-Power and Neo-Nazi Hate Music. Rutgers University Press. pp. 113–. ISBN 978-0-8135-7473-8. 
  2. ^ SPLCenter.org: Present at the Creation
  3. ^ Michael, George (2010). "The Church of the Creator Part I: Ben Klassen and the Critique of Christianity". Religion Compass. 4: 518. doi:10.1111/j.1749-8171.2010.00234.x. 
  4. ^ Atkins, Stephen (2011). Encyclopedia of Right-Wing Extremism in Modern American History. ABC-CLIO. p. 62. ISBN 978-1598843507. 
  5. ^ Deafening Hate: The Revival of Resistance Records
  6. ^ Tony Norman (19 February 2002). "'Hatecore' uses music to lure angry white youth". Post-Gazette. Retrieved 27 January 2011. 
  7. ^ A racist no longer: Ex-white rights fan just wants to be a rock star 25 January 2001 article from Toronto's Now Magazine.
  8. ^ Warren Kinsella (27 July 2011). Fury's Hour: A (sort-of) Punk Manifesto. Random House of Canada. pp. 166–. ISBN 978-0-307-36972-7. 
  9. ^ "Novacosm Everything Forever EP (plus enhanced CD)". Inc19, music review by Troy Jewell. August 6, 2003

External links[edit]