FOX 35 speaks to man who claims to have organized Neo-Nazi Orlando demonstration

FOX 35 News has been looking into who took part in the Neo-Nazi rally in Orlando over the weekend.

One group we found is the National Socialist Movement, which is based in Central Florida.  

Burt Colucci is the leader of the group. In a phone interview Tuesday, we asked why he is spreading messages of hate.

"Some people call it hate; we call it patriotism," he said.

Colucci says the neo-Nazi organization is based in Kissimmee and that he and his members were at this rally in Orlando over the weekend where people were holding signs and wearing clothes with Nazi symbols.  

RELATED: Jewish community reacts to Neo-Nazi rallies across Central Florida

"We were exercising our civil liberties there," Colucci said.

We found that Colucci, who lived in Central Florida, was arrested last year in Arizona.  

Officers say he pulled out a gun during a racially charged argument with several Black people.

In a clip from a witness, you can hear Colucci yell: "I’m the leader of the largest neo-Nazi organization in America!"

The protest in Orlando over the weekend has shaken and disturbed our community.

"In 2020, we saw a 4% drop in anti-Semitic incidents nationally, but in the State of Florida, we had a 40% increase in anti-Semitic incidents," said Lonny Wilk, interim director of the Anti-Defamation League of Florida.

RELATED: UCF student says he was spit on, pepper-sprayed, punched after confronting Neo-Nazi group

Wilk says these neo-Nazi groups want to scare and intimidate Jewish people. 

Experts say, their hateful messages are legal.

"We in the United States believe that freedom of speech is a universal and fundamental right no matter how vile or offensive the message may be," said Larry Walters, a constitutional attorney based in Longwood.

"We need people to speak out against anti-Semitism and take firm stances without any qualification," Wilk said.

While hate speech is protected, things like threats, inciting violence, and assault at rallies could lead to arrests. 

The Orange County sheriff says charges are "forthcoming" for three people following the Orlando protest, where a University of Central Florida student says he was attacked after confronting the group.

Click here for Orlando weather, Central Florida weather conditions, and live radar.