Thursday, April 22, 2010

Nazis Routed in Los Angeles

By John Parker
Los Angeles
Published Apr 21, 2010 3:46 PM

On April 17, the openly Nazi group NSM held a rally at Los Angeles City Hall. Many groups, including socialist, anti-war and anti-racist organizations, mobilized to challenge their so-called right to free speech that motivates violence, racism and genocide against non-European peoples and the LGBTQ community.

The anti-fascist demonstrators, numbering about 1,000, were also protesting the city government’s decision to allow the Nazis the use of public property and resources, especially the hundreds of police, who threatened protesters while serving as bodyguards for the Nazis as they tried to incite the largely Latino/a crowd by stepping on the Mexican flag.

Early in the demonstration two Nazis trying to egg on violence marched into a crowd of protesters, who warned them to go back. One decided to do just that, but the other stayed. Defending themselves against his violent threats and actions, protesters pushed him to the ground and convinced him not to come back.

During the rally, the 20 or so Nazis were drowned out with bullhorns, speakers and shouts like “Nazis go home,” “No Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA,” and “Somos los pueblos sin fronteras” (We are the people without borders). The very multi-national crowd of Asian, Latino/a, Black and white participants and the unity they portrayed were a stark contrast to the white-supremacists’ messages of division and hate towards working people of color and immigrants.

Although the well-armed, SWAT-like police presence was heavy and menacing, after the rally many demonstrators managed to circle around to where the Nazis were parked and began pursuing them, catching some and making others get out of town fast.

Whatever message they were hoping to get out in Los Angeles, the primary message the Nazis received from the angry demonstrators was that attempting to bring fascist ideology to Los Angeles will not be met kindly and the unity and determination of working and poor people and immigrants will prevail.

Just days before the rally, a press conference announcing the protest was held by Anti-Racist Action, Black Riders, and IWW at City Hall. Other participating organizations in the Saturday protest included the Southern California Immigration Coalition, BAYAN-USA, Bail Out the People Movement, International Action Center, FIST (Fight Imperialism, Stand Together), Workers World Party, All African Peoples Revolutionary Party, Freedom Socialist Party, Bus Riders Union, ANSWER and CISPES.

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