*For a view of the live coverage of the event via Twitter, go to http://www.dailytitan.com/2010/04/19/rallylive/
In commemoration of Adolph Hitler’s birthday, Neo-Nazis preached to a group of hostile counter-protesters in front of City Hall Saturday afternoon in Los Angeles.
Map of the events that occurred at the NSM rally in Los Angeles on April 17
View National Socialist Movement rally in Los Angeles 4/17/10 in a larger map
Considered â€œthe most dangerous domestic threat in the United Statesâ€ by the Department of Homeland Security, the National Socialist Movement, a Neo-Nazi organization, is anything but peaceful. They advocate the elimination of all American minorities, including those of African, Mexican, and Asian descent, homosexuals, disabled people and more. Violence is common, and there have been at least nine murders by NSM members since President Obamaâ€™s election, according to the video “White Power U.S.A.” by Rick Rowley and Jacquie Soohen.
The goal of the Los Angeles rally was to â€œbattle illegal immigration,â€ said Charles Wilson, public relations specialist for the NSM. â€œLast time I checked, if you do something illegal, you go to jail â€¦ weâ€™re here to say enough is enough.â€
Counter-protesters arrived around 10 a.m. at First and Spring Street. Participating groups included the Black Panthers, the Brown Berets and the anti-NSM group, No Nazis in L.A.
The demonstration started somewhat peacefully. Three hundred members of the LAPD kept watch as demonstrators carried signs, chanted, played musical instruments and marched.
Chants such as â€œStop the Nazis and the K.K.K. The working class is here to stay!â€ were screamed by hundreds.
Peace soon turned to violence when two white supremacists wandered into the counter-protest area. One man, donning racist tattoos, was beaten until police escorted him to safety. Blood could be seen on the back of his neck. Another man, carrying a sign displaying a swastika, was pummeled to the ground by angry attackers who beat him with their signs.
No serious injuries were reported and a total of five arrests were made.
Counter-protesters were also angry with the LAPD, arguing that tax dollars shouldn’t be used to fund such a racist demonstration.
Estella Ayala, member of La Raz Unida, said, â€œI know that the government will say they have the right to assemble, but the governmentâ€¦ needs to be sensitive to the minorities that make up this city.â€
Around 50 Nazis arrived at 10 in front of City Hall. With LAPD standing between them and the counter-protesters, they were safe to rally.
Dressed completely in black and waving Nazi flags, the NSM saluted Hitler and proudly displayed their swastika patches. They harassed and bullied the protesters, threatening to â€œmake lunch meatâ€ out of them and tearing up the Mexican flag.
â€œGo back to Mexico! This country was founded by white men, and was destined to be white,â€ preached Commander in Chief Jeff Schoep.
The counter-protesters were screaming at the Nazis in fits of hatred. The NSM spoke for a little over an hour after which they were escorted to a private parking lot. Counter-protesters followed but were cut off by police. That didnâ€™t stop them from hurling rocks, bottles, trash, and even a metal wrench at the Nazis’ vehicles. When one of the windows was shattered by a rock, the crowd cheered with victory.
Though the NSM claims that their numbers are growing every day, the difference between the number of Nazis and counter-protesters showed evidence of a lack of support.
There were only 50 NSM members present, while over 500 people showed up to protest against them.
John Efferson, a photovoltaic installer from LA, went to the protest to demonstrate his hatred of racism.
â€œWould they still be talking trash if they didnâ€™t have police protection? Probably not, because they know what would happen,â€ he said. â€œYou say something racist, and youâ€™ve got to pay for it. Thatâ€™s how we are in LA.â€