Sunday, February 26, 2006

Stop the hate or I’ll hit you with a brick
17 Arrested at Florida Neo-Nazi Rally

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) -- Fistfights broke out and police made 17 arrests Saturday at a neo-Nazi rally and march through a predominantly black neighborhood.

In khaki uniforms, tall black boots and red arm patches bearing swastikas, about 30 members of the National Socialist Movement were barricaded on one side by SWAT team members at the rally. On the other side of the SWAT officers, a group of about 100 black-clad counter-demonstrators, many covering their faces with black masks, held anti-Nazi signs.

Several counter-demonstrators were arrested before the march officially began when pockets of violence erupted, police said. It was not immediately clear whether anyone was hurt…

No members of the neo-Nazi group were arrested, police said.

Fourteen of those arrested are members of out-of-town groups such as the Skinheads Against Racial Prejudices and the Southeastern Anarchist Network, said Orlando police spokeswoman Barb Jones. All faced charges including disorderly conduct, battery on a law enforcement officer and wearing a mask, police said…

During the march, the neo-Nazis walked on one side of the road and the protesters on the other, separated by two lines of police. Both groups hurled insults.

Counter-demonstrators held signs including ones that read, "Stop the hate. Stop the violence" and "Love everyone."

"For them to come into our neighborhood, it's wrong; it's a slap in the face," said Donnell Jones, 33.

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