A white supremacist group rallied against illegal immigration in downtown Los Angeles on Saturday as hundreds of counter-protesters gathered to shout them down in a tense standoff that included several arrests, thrown rocks and police in riot gear.
Police officers stood between the white supremacists and counter-demonstrators on the south lawn of Los Angeles’ City Hall, where about 50 members of the National Socialist Movement waved US flags and swastika banners for about an hour.
Five people, all of them counter-protesters, were arrested on suspicion of throwing items, police said.
The white supremacists, many of them wearing flack helmets and military fatigue uniforms, shouted “Sieg Heil” before each of their speakers took the podium to taunt counter-protesters with racial, anti-Semitic and misogynistic epithets.
“We will meet you head on,” one of the white supremacists, whose name could not be made out over the fuzzy public address system, warned the crowd from behind several groups of police in riot gear.
Members of the Detroit-based group said they picked the location for their rally because of Los Angeles’ large immigrant population.
They accused some of the immigrants of stealing jobs and committing crimes.
Group members also said they were reacting to the recent number of street marches across the country encouraging legislators to enact reform that includes amnesty for some illegal immigrants.
National Socialist Movement regional director Jeffrey Russell Hall announced that the group would begin backing political candidates who agreed with their anti-immigrant message, but much of the white supremacists’ words were drowned out by such chants as “Hey hey, ho ho, Nazi scum have got to go” from the larger crowd of about 500 counter-protesters who held signs that read: “Nazis: Get Out of Los Angeles” and “Racists Are Ignorant.”
There was a brief flare-up of violence before the speakers arrived. A shirtless man was seen being escorted to safety behind police lines by a plainclothes officer as counter-protesters punched and grabbed at him. Blood could be seen at the base of the man’s neck.
National Lawyers Guild executive director James Lafferty, who attended both as a legal observer and counter-protester, said he saw the man get into a fight with crowd members who saw his Nazi lightning bolt tattoos.
Police Commander David Doan said a second man who crowd members believed was sympathetic with the white supremacists was also assaulted during the rally. Both men were treated for minor injuries at a hospital and released.
As the rally ended, counter-protesters hurled rocks and other items over police lines and into a parking lot where the white supremacists had left their cars.
Some members of the group had trouble starting a black Ford Mustang and attempted to hook up jumper cables to their engine. They protected themselves from the flying debris by holding up swastika-emblazoned shields.
The white supremacists eventually gave up and pushed their car away so they could jump-start it out of range of the projectiles.
FOX HUNT: To suppress dissent, Chinese living abroad that Xi Jinping sees as threats are told to either return to China or commit suicide, Christopher Wray said Chinese agents have been pursuing hundreds of Chinese nationals living in the US in an effort to force their return, as part of a global campaign against the country’s diaspora, known as Operation Fox Hunt, FBI Director Christopher Wray said on Tuesday. In a speech about the security threat posed by China, during which he said Beijing’s counterintelligence work was the “greatest long-term threat to our nation’s information and intellectual property, and to our economic vitality,” Wray gave the example of one Fox Hunt target who was given a choice of going back to China or killing themselves. Fox Hunt was launched
INTERNET CURBS: People are rushing to erase their digital footprints after police given powers over online activity, although it might take years for the full effect to be felt At midnight on Tuesday, the Great Firewall of China, the vast apparatus that limits the country’s Internet, appeared to descend on Hong Kong. Unveiling expanded police powers as part of contentious new national security legislation, the Hong Kong government enabled police to censor online speech, and force Internet service providers to hand over user information and shut down platforms. Many residents, already anxious since the legislation took effect last week, rushed to erase their digital footprint of any signs of dissent or support for the past year of protests. Hong Kong Legislator Charles Mok (莫乃光), a pro-democracy member of the Legislative
‘SUICIDE’: Media reports said Park Won-soon went missing on Thursday after a staff member filed a sexual harassment claim against him this week Seoul mayor Park Won-soon, viewed as a potential candidate for the 2022 presidential election, was found dead of an apparent suicide hours after he was reported missing, police said, adding that he was the subject of an undisclosed investigation. In a note he is thought to have left behind on his desk, Park offered his apologies. “I thank everyone who was with me in my life. I apologize to my family for only making them suffer from pain,” according to the note that was released by his office yesterday. Park, in his letter, asked to be cremated and have his remains spread
RISKY BUSINESS: The Chinese firm has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of 5G equipment not covered by US sanctions, but fears a wider ban could be announced in the UK Huawei Technologies Co believes it can supply 5G hardware unaffected by US sanctions to the UK for the next five years, sidestepping the expected conclusion of British emergency review on Tuesday. The company has stockpiled 500,000 pieces of kit, but fears a wider ban on its equipment is to be unveiled to placate rebel British Conservative Party lawmakers, who say that the Chinese supplier represents a national security risk. The British government on Friday said that it was “very likely” that British Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Oliver Dowden would make a statement to parliament on Tuesday