Neo-Nazis Didn’t Start the Violence at State Capitol, Police Say

Joseph Serna, Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2016

A series of violent clashes this weekend involving neo-Nazis permitted to rally at the state Capitol was initiated not by the white nationalist group but by counter-protesters, a law enforcement official said Monday.

“If I had to say who started it and who didn’t, I’d say the permitted group didn’t start it,” said California Highway Patrol officer George Granada, a spokesman for its Protective Services division. “They came onto the grounds and were met almost instantly with a group of protesters there not to talk.”

The Traditionalist Worker Party had a permit to hold a rally on the Capitol grounds at noon, Granada said.

Waiting for them were counter-protesters, including members of the anti-fascist organization Antifa Sacramento, which had promoted a “Shut Down Nazi Rally” event on its website leading up to Sunday.

A similar melee broke out in Anaheim earlier this year when members of the Ku Klux Klan announced they were holding a rally at a park. Counter-protesters showed up early and waited. When the first Klansmen arrived, they were set upon by the group.

Three people were stabbed at the Anaheim rally. At the Sacramento rally Sunday, seven people were stabbed and nine were hospitalized.

Granada said more than 100 CHP and Sacramento police officers were at the park to keep the peace, but the ground spans five city blocks and violence broke out intermittently. {snip}

{snip}

The Traditionalist Worker Party said on its website that it had planned a Sunday rally in conjunction with the Golden State Skinheads “to make a statement about the precarious situation our race is in” after “brutal assaults” at Donald Trump events in California.

{snip}

Robert Bautista, 65, said he saw a handful of white supremacists and skinheads arrive two or three at a time only to be immediately mobbed and chased away by the counter-protesters, who hurled water bottles and the wooden stakes that bore their signs.

“They beat the heck out of a couple guys,” said Bautista, a retired construction worker who was among the counter-protesters. “You could see their adrenaline was running high.”

Bautista also said he saw one counter-protester, a black man who appeared to be in his late 20s, convulsing on the ground with stab wounds to his chest and abdomen.

“He was a bloody mess,” he said.

{snip}

Counter-protester Yvette Felarca, 46, said the marchers had been driven away and had not been able to recruit members.

“The Nazis are the violent ones–we are acting in self-defense,” said Felarca, who sustained a bloody blow to the head. “We need to take them head on, confront them, but with as many people as possible.”

{snip}

Topics: ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.