It’s becoming a rare event anywhere in the United States, but in downtown Los Angeles it’s almost unheard of: neo-Nazis, the National Socialists Movement to be exact, are planning to rally on the steps of L.A.’s City Hall on Saturday afternoon. They have acquired a permit to march from the LAPD for 150 people, and they plan to “celebrate” the birthday of Adolf Hitler. Meanwhile a coalition of community groups, as diverse as the Jewish Labor Committee to the Southern California Immigration Coalition, has been lobbying the Mayor to revoke the permit and also plans to turn out several thousand counter-protesters to box in the Nazis. As distasteful as the Nazis’ views may be, do they still have an iron-clad First Amendment right to march through downtown Los Angeles?
Ron Gochez, community organizer for Union Barrio & the Southern California Immigration Coalition
Peter Eliasberg, managing attorney of the ACLU of Southern California