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White Supremacist Rally Gets a Little Nasty

On Saturday members of the National Socialist Movement, a white supremacist group, rallied on the south lawn of Los Angeles City Hall while preaching a pro-white, racist message as part of their “Reclaim the Southwest!” agenda and a warmup for their dinner convention which was held in a secret location.

New reports say the NSM numbered about 50, while over 500 protesters were on hand along with 300 members of the Los Angeles Police Department.

Aside from a few bellows of

Sieg Heil!

the NSM speeches couldn’t be clearly heard by the protesters because the lines of riot police — a few of whom who were not white — kept the groups so separated.  Those protesting the NSM included relatives of Holocaust survivors, Black Panthers, Brown Berets, and lots of people of many races and ethnicities, including whites, who think neo-Nazis are sucky scum.

Shockingly, one LAPD officer described the event as

It’s just one group of racists protesting another group of racists.

Um, say WTF?! The crowd was as diverse as Los Angeles’ population. That sort of comment displays  the sort of narrow-minded attitude that the old LAPD — pre-Chief Bratton — had and which was supposedly supplanted with more understanding of the city’s complexities and social nuances.

There were five arrests. Some really angry protesters threw rocks and bottles at the uniformed neo-Nazis when one of the white power cars, a black Ford SUV, wouldn’t start.

Although it’s not up at their web site, KNBC Channel 4 had a report on their 11:00 p.m. newscast — interviewing an anti-Nazi protester who claimed the cops beat him with a club — but the reported record of beatings states that two crowd members sporting pro-Nazi symbols were thrashed by protesters, drawing blood. One guy was shirtless and had Nazi-themed tattoos; the other was carrying a sign reading

Christianity=Paganism=Heathen$

with an arrow pointing to a swastika, kind of a confusing message, more crazy than Nazi. The shirtless guy with the inked lightening bolts on his back and chest along with other tattoos was making a pretty clear statement, and as ugly as it was…well, just because someone is spoiling for a fight, doesn’t mean you should give them one. Both men were removed from the crowd by the cops, then treated and released. Really unfortunate, bad behavior on the part of those involved in the violence.

Free speech is just that, the right of others to say things that might be offensive. It’s not “free speech for me and not for thee,” not free speech for the majority only. If pathetic, nasty little Nazis or guys with ugly-ass tattoos and stupid signs are denied their right to speak — or beaten for exercising it — because what they say or show is considered “hate speak,” then who else could be denied their rights on that same basis?

(thanks for photos: R. Lawrence Tripp)

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Lisa Derrick

Lisa Derrick

Los Angeles native, attended UC Berkeley and Loyola Marymount University before punk rock and logophilia overtook her life. Worked as nightclub columnist, pop culture journalist and was a Hollywood housewife before writing for and editing Sacred History Magazine. Then she discovered the thrill of politics. She also appears frequently on the Dave Fanning Show, one of Ireland's most popular radio broadcasts.

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