Anti-racists block neo-Nazi march
Published May 12, 2005 5:20 PM
Hundreds of anti-racist protesters came out here May 8 to protest a planned march and rally by the neo-Nazi organization “White Revolution.” This vile group of bigots, based in Arkansas, had intended to hold a rally at the New England Holocaust Memorial to coincide with the annual Holo caust commemoration.
Boston anti-Nazi protest.
The anti-Nazi demonstration was organized on short notice by a number of organizations and community leaders, including Boston City Councilor Chuck Turner; the International Action Center; USWA Local 8751, Boston School Bus Drivers; Bromley Heath workers; Women’s Fightback Network; International Socialist Organization and many others.
Chanting “Gay, straight, Black, white—all unite to fight the right” as well as chants against racism, anti-Semitism, Zionism, sexism and LGBT bigotry, the demonstrators held a militant and loud protest in front of Faneuil Hall, adjacent to the memorial. Protesters were Black, Latin@, Asian, Arab, Jewish, white, young and old. They included a large number of anarchist youth, as well as supporters of the Pales tinian people who made it clear that their opposition to the Israeli occupation of Palestine has nothing in common with the vicious anti-Semitism of the neo-Nazis.
When a small group of racists tried to enter the protest area, they were quickly surrounded by angry demonstrators and forced to flee in the back seat of a police car.
In spite of the heavy police presence, the protesters quickly took over Congress Street when police armed with clubs and in riot gear started to provide an escort for 10 to 15 of the racist thugs. Instead of hold ing a rally at the Holocaust Memorial, the members of “White Revolution” were forced to stand a block away, behind a wall of Boston police.
The police showed they were not there to protect the people of Boston from the violence and terror that this neo-Nazi group espouses; they were there to protect the neo-Nazis from the righteous anger of the people. When a young African-Amer ican protester tried to defend himself after being hit in the face by a racist, the police surged in, some on horseback, and arrested both of them.
The crowd quickly took up the chant, “Cops and Nazis are the same—the only difference is the name.” After standing behind their cop defenders for a short time, the neo-Nazis left, again under heavy escort, and were loaded into police wagons.
It should be no surprise that the neo-Nazis chose to come to Boston at a time when racist forces are raising their ugly heads in yet another attempt to re-segregate the Boston public school system. The religious right is also trying to overturn an historic victory by the lesbian, gay, bi and trans community here for equal marriage rights.
Nor should it be a surprise that the fascists chose Boston at a time of increased police brutality—such as a case involving a vicious assault by the Medford police against five youth of color from Som er ville. George W. Bush, the Congress, Massachu setts Gov. Mitt Romney and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino have created a climate of war, racism and hatred that promotes these fascist groups.
White supremacist groups such as the Nazis and the Klan exist in order to try to exploit the frustrations of those who have been impacted during times of economic crisis and high unemployment. They try to pit white workers against African-
Amer ican, Latin@, Asian and immigrant workers; whip up anti-Semitism; and attack the rights of women and the LGBT community, including equal marriage rights.
In short, these white supremacist and anti-Semitic organizations act as the shock troops for the wealthy and big business by trying to create artificial divisions among those who should be natural allies.
Corporate America and the Bush White House take advantage of these divisions in order to drive down wages and benefits, while federal and state politicians go on the offensive by slashing much-needed social programs such as housing, education and health care in order to feed the Pentagon’s insatiable appetite and pay for an increasingly unpopular war.
The hatred and violence that these groups promote are crimes. History has shown that only through organizing and mobilizing to fight back will the workers and oppressed be able to successfully defeat these fascist organizations and their supporters.
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