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White Supremacy Rally Draws Counter-Protesters, Heavy LAPD Deployment

By Eric Richardson
Published: Saturday, April 17, 2010, at 05:43PM
National Socialist Rally and Protests Eric Richardson [Flickr]

Members of the National Socialist Movement march to their cars after holding a rally on City Hall's South Lawn.



Counter-protesters outnumbered a group of demonstrators from the National Socialist Movement outside City Hall today by a ten-to-one margin, but the two groups combined were still smaller than the deployment of police officers charged with keeping them apart.

The rally, held under a permit issued to the white supremacy group, brought roughly 40 group members and supporters. They stood next to City Hall's south steps dressed in black and holding flags that included swastikas. Their speeches were very specifically aimed at the approximately 500 counter-protesters, who were only allowed to get as close as the 1st street sidewalk.

While the speech many have been ugly, the event was largely peaceful. There were two assaults in the crowd, LAPD Commander David Doan said afterward, along with 3 or 4 arrests related to bottles and rocks that were thrown at the white supremacists as they got into their vehicles.

Doan, the incident commander for the event, declined to say how many LAPD officers had been deployed for the rally.

"Our primary responsibility is to make sure that it's done safely and to keep the peace," he said. "I think we did an outstanding job today, allowing unfortunately some hateful speech, but that's what the First Amendment's about."

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