“These include reports of vandalism associated with Death in June’s most recent concerts on the West Coast. Additionally, negative feedback regarding the show and threats to disrupt it have come to the attention of Salem police and suggest that even heightened security will not be sufficient to forestall or avoid damage to this historic building.
“In the interest of both public safety and in our primary responsibility to protect the integrity of an historic property, we do not believe an historic site such as Old Town Hall is the appropriate venue for this performance.”
A threatening notice was already found outside Old Town Hall last Thursday night, according to police.
“There was a poster found outside saying if the city doesn’t cancel, we will come and cancel it or do it ourselves,” said Salem police Chief Paul Tucker. “It was not signed, but was posted at one of the kiosks downtown.”
Tucker also said he learned of reports of vandalism at the Los Angeles hall where Death in June performed last week. The “neofolk” group, founded in Britain in the early 1980s, is on a U.S. tour.
Tucker added, however, that the decision to cancel was not made by Salem police.
Nolan criticized the college and city for caving in to what he called militant left-wing groups that have disrupted past concerts and who he believes are behind the current threats and protests. Nolan said he has received threats in recent days.
“I’ve organized a nice event, a peaceful event ... and we’ve been intimidated by violent people,” he said. “The city isn’t standing up for me, and Gordon College isn’t standing up for me. Instead of going after the people making the threats, they’re punishing me.”
Nolan also took issue with the college’s claim they did not know the identity of the group scheduled to perform on Sept. 19 and did not hear the name “Death in June” until a few days ago.