Rocklands Farm Kicks Out White Nationalist Group Holding Event
Workers at Poolesville area business discovered what the organization was while gathering was underway
via Rocklands Farm on Facebook
A white nationalist group holding a private event Sunday at Rocklands Farm Winery & Market was asked to leave, and did so, after workers at the Poolesville area farm discovered who it was.
The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the National Policy Institute, led by white nationalist Richard Spencer, was holding a conference at the facility to recap 2017. The group booked the gathering through a third-party logistics company and began the event around 11 a.m. About 100 people attended.
Around 4 p.m., management at the facility told everyone to leave after a worker learned Spencer was there, according to the Post. The group left and Rocklands refunded the money it was paid for the event.
The owners of Rocklands Farm declined to comment Tuesday and instead directed a reporter to the statement posted on its website addressing the incident:
“At Rocklands Farm, we proudly do business according to family values, including welcoming people of all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, cultures and religions.
“In all we do, including hosting private events, we strive to uphold those values, as well as ensure the safety and respect for our family, staff, customers, community and business.
“Throughout our history of hosting private events, we have never had to ask a group to leave. However, yesterday, November 19, we discovered that a private event held here was, in reality, a gathering of an organization that is strongly in opposition to our values. We immediately and politely asked the group to leave. We are grateful that the group agreed to peacefully leave right away. Rocklands Farm absolutely does not support or have any affiliation with the National Policy Institute or similar groups.”
The statement said Rocklands is reviewing its event booking policy to make sure future events reflect the business’ values.
Spencer told the Post that the group didn’t break any rules and was disappointed that the management asked it to leave. He said the group would not retaliate.
Spencer has been at the center of significant national confrontations over the past year.
After Donald Trump’s election, he gave a speech in Washington in which he screamed, “Hail Trump! Hail our people! Hail victory!,” which elicited Nazi salutes from crowd members. On Inauguration Day, he was punched in the face by a protester while giving an on-camera interview. And he was one of the leaders of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville where a demonstrator drove into a crowd of counterprotesters and killed a woman.
Rocklands Farm Winery & Market is a 34-acre working farm in Montgomery County’s Agricultural Reserve that sells meats, eggs and small-batch wines. The farm uses a renovated barn to host parties, weddings and other private events.