Counter protestors rally against white nationalism

David Jenkins

Carmelita Islas Mendez, News Editor

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Long Beach residents held a peaceful anti-hate rally in response to a scheduled free-speech march. The free-speech march was organized by a Facebook group with links to right-wing “patriots” and white nationalists.

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A member of the Democratic Socialist of America in Long Beach holding a sign reading “No Rightwing in Long Beach.” In protest against of the “Freedom’s Safest Place” rally, the DSA of Long Beach were present along with other leftwing organizations. Photo credit: David Jenkins

The United Patriot National Front’s Facebook event was later canceled, with only a handful of people signing up to attend.

The anti-hate rally was held at Bluff Park in response to the free-speech march scheduled for April 28. The free-speech march “Freedom’s Safest Place” was organized by UPNF, which residents quickly discovered had ties to white nationalists and the far-right.

Sophia Cleverly a Long Beach resident said that the march was her first experience in protesting and that she was proud of herself and others for attending the event. She said, “It’s so amazing.”

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Many people within the Long Beach area and surrounding communities came together to protest the “Freedom’s Safest Place” rally, which had ties to white nationalist. Those present had signs that read “Character not Color” and “Queers against Fascist” and many others. Photo credit: David Jenkins

Around 200 LA county residents were present with local Antifa and Democratic Socialists of America chapters also attending at the rally displaying signs calling for an end to white supremacy. The event was peaceful with a heavy police presence.

Cleverly believes the UPNF chose Long Beach to “get a reaction and come here to try to antagonize and say ‘we’re here no matter what,’ and to see them not come here after such a negative response shows their true nature.”

Weeks before the UPNF’s event, Long Beach local businesses posted fliers warning the community of the presence of white nationalists and calling residents to “[not] let them bring hate to Long Beach unopposed.”

Pasadena resident Ian Jameson said that the reason white nationalists and right-wing sympathizers did not show up was that they’d be outnumbered and said protestors would have “kicked their asses.”

Jameson said, “We will keep coming out here and showing these fascists that they don’t run this fucking country, we do. We’re taking this country back.

‘By ‘we’ I don’t mean corporate democrats. I’m not talking about Nancy ‘fucking’ Pelosi, I’m not talking about Joe ‘voted for the Iraq war fucking’ Biden. I’m talking about money out of politics, pro-immigrates, anti-mass incarceration, actually anti-war [and] money-out-of-politics progressives.

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