Dialogue Surrounding Saturday's Neo-Nazi Rally and Counter-Protest
Saturday's National Socialist Movement rally has come and gone (and will likely be back next year) but the ensuing discussion will continue. It will continue about First Amendment rights, taxpayer monies, hate speech and consequences and other talking points.
Walking among the counter-protesters, one oft-heard complaint launched at LAPD officers was how dare they spend city money on protecting the Nazis during a budget crisis. But that answer is just the same as when the LAPD spends money and resources at other rallies and protests, such as immigration and anti-war marches.
"It's certainly frustrating to have to spend the resources to make sure everyone has their First Amendment rights, but our primary responsibility to make sure it's done safely and to keep the peace," explained Commander David Doan after Saturday's event. "And I think we did an outstanding job today allowing some, unfortunately, hateful speech, but that's what the First Amendment is about, and allowing the other side being able to express their displeasure in a peaceful way."
Another aspect of the protest were the rocks and bottles thrown by counter-protestors. "They're all savages of different colors," opined LAist commenter meltdowntown. "Stereotyping/racism goes both ways. How soon we forget the 1990s LA riots. Thank you LAPD & Mayor V for allowing both extremes to blast their nonsense to the world while keeping us all safe."
But commenter ben bang saw it differently. "I'm glad some folks had the stones to offer these pussies a nice LA welcome," he said. "Sorry, but you just don't come down here and preach that shit. And if you do, you'll find out there are consequences. As it should be."
Others questioned whether the event should have been covered by the media in the first place. "they got what they wanted: ATTENTION," said trojan2002. "The violent reaction to them was what they wanted as well. In their crazy eyes they go back under their rock and talk about how normal and sane they are and how crazy everyone else is."