On Saturday, Feb. 10, hundreds of pro-immigrant protesters, led by the ANSWER Coalition (Act Now to Stop War and End Racism) and other organizations, launched a successful counter-protest against the racist "Minuteman Project" and "Save Our State." Both neo-fascist groups had called a hate march in Hollywood that day to support two U.S. border patrol agents and one deputy sheriff who were convicted of shooting unarmed immigrants.
Although it was a national mobilization for the racists--with Minutemen supporters converging from different states--the anti-racist protesters clearly outnumbered them.
The Minutemen attempted to converge near the Metro station on Hollywood and Argyle, but the pro-immigrant protesters kicked them off the corner and forced them onto a small sidewalk across the street. The pro-immigrant protesters held the corner and chanted militantly against the racists for several hours. Chants like "SOS, you're no good, racists out of Hollywood!" and "Down with the Klan, down with the Minutemen!" rang out. There were banners, signs and drums at the spirited counter-protest.
The behavior of the repressive Los Angeles Police Department was again shameful and completely in line with the racist Minutemen. This is no surprise. They illegally threatened to arrest the organizers several times and charged into the crowd without cause and arrested two counter-protesters. The LAPD also allowed Minutemen leaders to violently run into the ranks of anti-racist protesters. The protesters immediately ejected the Minutemen from the sidewalk without permitting these blatant provocations to quell the demonstration.
When the Minutemen eventually marched down Hollywood Boulevard, the pro-immigrant protesters marched alongside them, drowning out the racists' slogans with anti-racist chants.
Many people from the surrounding community and passersby in Hollywood joined the pro-immigrant protesters in denouncing the Minutemen and racism.
At the end of the day, the pro-immigrant protesters thwarted the Minutemen's intentions entirely. Their hateful message could not be heard over the militant counter-protest and their racism was challenged with every step they took. The counter-protest was covered on major TV and print media outlets. Thank you to all the organizations and individuals who supported and mobilized for the action.
It was another step forward in the battle against racism and for full equality for immigrants.
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