Police in riot gear formed a line in front of a crowd of about 500 people gathered south of City Hall today to protest a white supremacist rally, and the counter-protest began with a bloody incident.
Police citywide were on tactical alert in case wide-scale trouble broke out when members of the National Socialist Movement exercised their First Amendment rights, as affirmed in a city parade permit, for a white power demonstration at City Hall.
Before a group of neo-Nazis arrived for their scheduled rally at City Hall, some of the counterprotesters beat up a man with Nazi skin tattoos who had antagonized the crowd. He was moved down the street by an angry mob of protestors, who beat him with signs, causing him to bleed from the head.
Police formed a wedge and took the man away, and no arrests were made.
Hundreds of people converged in downtown Los Angeles for a white supremacist rally on Saturday, April 17, 2010. At least one person was injured. A man with Nazi tattoos was attacked by counter-demonstrators.
The counterprotesters, estimated by a Los Angeles police officer to be about 500 people, were gathered on the sidewalk, many carrying signs and chanting slogans in English and Spanish, about 30 minutes before the neo-Nazi rally was to begin at 12:30 p.m.
``It's just one group of racists protesting another group of racists,'' an officer said.
A line of officers in riot gear stood behind yellow tape, which cordoned off the south lawn of City Hall, where the neo-Nazis will gather. An officer across the street, at LAPD headquarters, said he did not expect any violence.
A crowd of bystanders and officers formed on the street in front of police headquarters to view the demonstrators on the other side of First Street, which was blocked off between Broadway and Main Street.