Extremism researchers have positively identified one of the neo-Nazis that participated in the Kanye-themed white supremacist banner drop on the 405 Freeway overpass in Los Angeles last week. SoCal Research Club, a collective monitoring and researching neo-Nazi networks, released their findings on Monday after the shocking antisemitic display of hate that drew condemnation from across Los Angeles and the nation. The blonde woman in red performing a Nazi salute while wearing a black skirt and a white cap, as seen in viral images of the 405 overpass, has been identified as Erika Ostrove, also known as Erika Suveg and Hungarian Erika, from Westwood, California.
Erika Ostrove is an extremely active member of the White Lives Matter California chapter of neo-Nazis. She is also associated with the Goyim Defense League, the neo-Nazi group responsible for this 405 overpass banner drop. White Lives Matter is a movement of neo-Nazis founded in 2015 as a racist rebuttal to Black Lives Matter. Their California chapter has a required reading list that includes famous Nazi literature such as Siege by James Mason and Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. Designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group, this neo-Nazi collective received a spike in popularity courtesy of Kanye West endorsing and promoting their “White Lives Matter” creed— utilizing his massive influence and reach. Even before this recent freeway overpass incident, the White Lives Matter California chapter rushed to create Nazi propaganda built around Kanye West’s antisemitic and anti-Black hate speech.
Let’s back up a bit and walk through the rise of White Lives Matter neo-Nazis in California. Last year, residents in Southern California stepped out of their homes to find promotional propaganda for an upcoming White Lives Matter rally from none other than the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The rally was held in April of 2021 and resulted in several brawls, 12 arrests, and an unlawful assembly being issued by local law enforcement.
Though the neo-Nazis were overwhelmingly outnumbered by anti-racist and anti-fascist counter protesters, there was notable participation from Trump supporters, Proud Boys, brawlers with Nazi tattoos, and even a Ku Klux Klan Grand Dragon named William Quigg. The rally was generally regarded by White Lives Matter neo-Nazis as a failure, with users in the group’s private chat lamenting the poor turnout on the white supremacist side. The optics of skinheads getting beaten up by local surfers did not excite much interest into their neo-Nazi cause. Since then, White Lives Matter in California have opted for less public affairs, reducing their risk of facing opposition. They’re mainly focused on spreading neo-Nazi propaganda using pamphlets, stickers, or banner drops that feature the infamous white supremacist “14 words” creed. Anti-fascist locals often successfully thwart the neo-Nazi attempts at spreading racist hate.
We have been seeing an alarming rise in general neo-Nazi activity in California, including multiple neo-Nazi music festivals and antisemitic pamphlet drops. Additionally, the White Lives Matter private chat shows that the group has been actively trying to join up with local traditional conservatives and far-right extremists in other direct actions. In fact, I reported last month on how Erika Ostrove herself tried to team up with Los Angeles far-right groups and Proud Boys over anti-abortion and QAnon issues. I published multiple leaks of their private group chat, which proved that she even attended the rally in-person.
Several of their previously anonymous members have been publicly identified by extremism researchers as a result of the leaks that I published, which included the full username member list of the White Lives Matter California chapter’s private chat.
For a full breakdown on neo-Nazi Erika Ostrove, as well as information on how she was identified, check out the information released by SoCal Research Club on Twitter.