More Photos Here From Mark Zaleski
When 600+ counterprotestors show up to stand against the Nazi's, the point is made. Mainstream America has no tolerance for those promoting and promulgating a hate-filled agenda.
The signs, symbols, and speech displayed by the National Socialist Movement, et. al. have always engendered an anger and a revulsion among those who seek to preserve and protect the fabric of a multicultural society and the recent events in Riverside, California are no exception.
TO ORIGINAL SOURCE
By LORA HINES
A brief fistfight and a lime-throwing incident led to arrests of at least two counterprotesters Saturday during a three-hour neo-Nazi rally near a well-known Riverside day labor gathering site.
The fight erupted minutes after 20 neo-Nazis arrived and took positions behind metal barricades erected by the Riverside Police Department near Madison Street and Railroad Avenue. Police barricaded an estimated 600 counterprotesters about 150 feet away on the other side of the street.
But more than two dozen counterprotesters, including members of the Brown Berets, a Chicano activist group, rushed toward the neo-Nazis and the two groups yelled at each other.
One unidentified Brown Beret member, who was later arrested, pushed over a barricade and a brawl between both sides barely started before dozens of officers wearing riot gear and using batons quickly stopped it.
Another counterprotester, who identified himself as Geronimo Rivera, 32, was led away by police and arrested on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.
Rivera, held on $25,000 bail, was arrested in connection with limes being thrown at the neo-Nazis shortly before the rally ended.
The counterprotesters cheered as the neo-Nazis ended the rally, giving the signature Nazi salute as motorcycle officers escorted them to their SUVs and minivans.
SAME AREA AS BEFORE
The demonstration, which led to the closure of part of Madison near Indiana Avenue, was a follow-up to a short rally last month in the same area.
On Saturday, police established a command near the rally site, and an estimated 75 officers kept counterprotesters from confronting neo-Nazis. A police helicopter flew overhead during much of the rally.
The California Highway Patrol closed the eastbound offramp at Madison from Highway 91 during the rally, which resulted in traffic backing up to at least Van Buren Boulevard. Trains also were halted as neo-Nazis spilled onto the tracks.
Riverside police Sgt. Jaybee Brennan couldn't say how much the rally could cost Riverside taxpayers.
RALLY CALLED SUCCESS
Jeff Hall, a Riverside resident and state director of the National Socialist Movement, said the group met its goal -- to shut down the day labor site.
"We're going to be here again and again," he said.
The neo-Nazis and counterprotesters spent much of the time videotaping and yelling disparaging comments and names, urging the other group to go home.
Counterprotesters dared neo-Nazis to confront them and held signs that read "Tolerance, yes. Hatred, no," "Stop harassing day laborers," "Human beings are not illegal" and "We do the jobs you can't live without."
Neo-Nazis criticized homosexuals, Jews and undocumented workers taking jobs.
A group of about 100 people identified as students in support of day laborers defied police and marched on Madison toward the neo-Nazis before a line of motorcycle officers and riot police blocked them. They beat makeshift drums, blew whistles and yelled "Nazis go home."
The students from the Claremont colleges were among the counterprotesters who last month drove off the neo-Nazis, said member Troy Araiza-Kokkinis.
He said the students would counterprotest as long as the neo-Nazis rally.
"Our obligation is to drown them out and combat racism in the Inland Empire," Araiza-Kokkinis said. "We'll come back every week."