Did Matt Lamont Try to Blow Up Hitlers Birthday Party?

For Matt Lamont, the worst thing about jail is the Nazis

* * *

Because he's in total separation at the Men's Jail, Lamont is not allowed out of his cell on regular visiting days, which for the jail's general population run from Thursday through Saturday. It takes the deputies at least an hour to locate him to authorize a reporter's visit, then a watch commander has to sign off on the request, which tends to add another hour or two to the wait time. Such delays don't seem to bother Lamont, who counts time in weeks and months, not hours or minutes.

"In here, time doesn't really exist," he said, shrugging. "They've had me on 46-hour lockdown. I just sit in my cell all day, read and talk to other inmates through the air vents." He said he has been reading a lot of books about "political movements," including a history of the Irish Republican Army, a text called Hamas: Political Theory and Practice, and Soledad Brother: Prison Writings of George Jackson. He has even found time to read City of Quartz by Mike Davis, which he said was "a really good" book.

But most of Lamont's energy goes into not getting killed by Nazis.

"The Nazis got word of why I was arrested, and they're not too pleased with it," he said. "I've had death threats in here; they're uncountable. A race traitor is what they consider me." So Lamont discussed with a black inmate his delicate situation regarding the Nazis. His black friend told him to speak with another inmate, a member of the Rolling 90s Crips street gang, who slapped Lamont on the shoulder and told him, congratulations, he was now an honorary Muslim.

"So I've read the Koran, studied their culture and learned what I need to survive up in prison," Lamont said. "It's a good religion. It promotes classlessness, and, back in the day, it was good for women. It's more progressive than Christianity. I don't know about God, though."

Lamont's conversion may ensure that he can roll with African American inmates once he reaches state prison in a few days, but it has made him even more of a target for Nazi outrage. "They saw a Koran on my table and told me, 'You're worshipping a nigger God,'" he recalled. "They try to get you while you're eating chow. It's really easy to stick someone without anyone knowing. They can pop off a whole race riot just to get you.

"The Orange County Jail is a brutal jail," he said. He alleged that deputies had beaten him up three weeks before and later brought a skinhead to his cell. "They told him that I tried to blow up an Aryan Nations birthday party for Adolf Hitler," Lamont said.

Things have gotten so touchy inside the jail that Lamont says he's looking forward to serving out the rest of his sentence at a state prison. He says he has even gotten advice from ex-Nazis on how to avoid getting killed.

"Six months isn't much time for the Nazis to do anything," he said. "If anything happens, I'll just hit them before they can get me and spend my time in the hole and not get killed. It won't be that fun, but hopefully it will work out."

* * *

The animosity between Lamont and the Nazis is no match for the bad blood between him and the police. It's unclear how he grew to hate cops so much, because he was unwilling to discuss much of his life leading up to 2001, when he started living with other anarchists at the Info-Shop in Long Beach. But it's clear that, for a suburban-bred anarchist, Lamont had a fairly typical upbringing.

He was born on Aug. 3, 1981, to an American mother and a Scottish-born father whom he described as "Christian conservatives." (His parents declined to be interviewed for this story.) As a child growing up in a lower-middle-class suburb of Garden Grove, he used to play guns with his brother, who later joined the U.S. Air Force. The two would run around shooting at invisible enemies; Lamont says that's how he first got the nickname Rampage.

By the time he attended Santiago High School, his relationship with his parents had soured. Lamont said he was expelled from school for "making a political statement" but refused to elaborate. From there, he said, he "bounced around a lot" and lived on the streets. "I used to sell drugs and whatever to survive," he said. "Later, I learned that dealing drugs is bad for the community. But back then, I was relatively aimless. I saw a lot of fucked-up shit. I got beat up by the police a lot."

At one point, Lamont got a job "working construction on rich people's houses in Anaheim Hills and Yorba Linda" but said he was fired because he "wasn't very good at the job." His next job was finding computer print cartridges for customers at an office-supply store in Garden Grove.

"There was an Asian guy working there who didn't speak much English and the boss kept making fun of him," Lamont claimed. "The guy hurt his back on the job, and his doctor gave him a note, but the boss told him if he didn't come to work, he was out of a job."

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