Dressed in black battle dress, helmet, and wielding a bullhorn featuring a smiley face with a Hitler mustache, Mesa neo-Nazi J.T. Ready helped lead a group of about 20 National Socialist Movement members in a rally held in Riverside, California on Saturday.
Local press estimated that the 20 sieg heil-ing demonstrators faced off with some 600 counter-protesters, including Brown Berets, anarchists and, generally, a lot of ticked off Californians. Despite the fact that the Riverside police were out in force, there was a throw-down between the two sides when the Brown Berets and the neo-Nazis went at it at one point, trading blows. That is, until the cops separated them.
This demo was a follow-up to a Riverside NSM rally last month, where some eight to a dozen swastika-lickers protested a location where day-laborers congregate. (Saturday's Nazi bash was in the same place, but across the street, observers tell me.) That September demo ended badly for the NSM, with its supporters being run off by a massive coalition of activists. This time, the white supremacists held their ground, but only because of the efforts of an army of local gendarmes.
According to Riverside's Press-Enterprise, which has the most detailed coverage of the day's events, two counter-demonstrators were taken into custody. No neo-Nazis were collared, alas. Press-Enterprise has a photo gallery of the fight on its site.
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