Via Workers World News Service
Reprinted from the Dec. 11, 1997
issue of Workers World newspaper

Anti-racist crowd in Fresno, Calif., shouts down Klan rally

By Dallas Blanchard
Fresno Anti-Racist Action Network

Over 500 people turned out for an anti-racist response to a Ku Klux Klan rally at the California State University campus in Fresno, Calif., Nov. 15.

Local politicians and the mainstream media had encouraged people not to confront the KKK. They set up a candlelight vigil on the other side of town during the Klan rally and said that anyone who went to confront the Klan was actually supporting them.

Despite this, over 500 people went to let the Klanners know what they thought of their presence on campus.

When the racists arrived, about 30 police officers in full riot gear escorted them into the so-called free-speech area. Another group of about 25 cops had already set up a perimeter to protect the Klanners from the crowd.

After 17 KKKers arrived they played some taped music and waved confederate flags. One of the racists then spoke into a bullhorn—but throughout his speech, he was constantly shouted down by the anti-racists who far outnumbered the Klanners.

When the racist speaker said the Klan is against affirmative action someone in the crowd yelled, "Let the police go home and I’ll show you affirmative action."

After spewing his racist filth under full police protection, the speaker and his friends left, escorted again by police. A cordon of cops stayed behind to hold back the anti-racist crowd from following them.

Another hundred people had attended the candlelight vigil against the Klan on the other side of town.

Later that night, two Nazi skinheads assaulted four young people who were returning home from the anti-Klan demonstration. One of those attacked said she had seen her assailants earlier at the Klan rally.

The two Nazi sympathizers used a bat and a large chain in the attack. Both were charged with two counts of assault with a deadly weapon.

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