When white supremacists weren’t found in threatening numbers on Sunday Huntington Beach Rally, Many opposition activists considered it a victory.
“We won the day,” Los Angeles activist Nagy Ali said hours after the protest. “They won’t show up. They’re very numerous. The Huntington Beach community has won.”
But those who track the movement of radicals say the truth is more complicated and annoying.
Due to combat, confusion, and other factors, neo-Nazis and other militants Deadly “Unite the Right” Rally In Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017.
But they also appear that white supremacists are using the small turnout of the event to boost their recruitment under the story that whites are being attacked, and they Warned of the fact that was overwhelmed by opposition protesters.
Peter Levy, Regional Director of the Orange County and Long Beach Defamation League, said: “They try to assemble, but they can’t. They try to be free to speak, but they can’t.”
According to radical experts, the weekend blunder at Huntington Beach has only been repeated in more than 12 cities in the United States where similar rallies were planned, affecting the damaged foundations of white-centric groups. But it may help connect with other right-wing ideologies. Far from signaling the collapse of white supremacist activity, on Sundays, immigration, border guards, Police reform It will shake politics.
“It was an ironic promotional stunt,” said Eric Ward, a radicalist expert at the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Western Province Center. “It launches the base. It makes those individuals [who attend] Automatic hero. “
Over the past few years, opposition demonstrators have increasingly confronted the far-right protesters as their passions have grown. During Sunday’s event, opponents flocked to clear supporters of white supremacism, and like-minded demonstrators often kept them away from Huntington Beach Wharf in the chanting “Nazis, go home.”
Prior to the rally, several groups, including Black Lives Matter and the NAACP, revealed that they did not support the opposition movement. Some believe that low turnout may be a strategy and that white supremacist groups have used similar events in the past to feed conflicts.
“They are using it in proceedings. They are using it for public relations. They are using it to get the attention of the media and it’s very problematic,” said Black Lives Matter Los Angeles. Melina Abdullah, co-founder and professor of pan-African studies at California State University, California, said. We don’t want to agree with their story and we don’t want to feed their story. If they can’t get the attention, I don’t think they generally occupy public places. “
But Sunday’s flop wasn’t just a lot.
The far-right group behind the event was plagued by paranoia, distrust, lack of clear organization, and participants’ desire to remain anonymous. This issue became more and more apparent in the days leading up to the rally advertised at the beginning of the messaging site Telegram. March.
According to the company, the promotion of the “White Lives Matter” rally on April 11 has led to nearly 50 city-specific groups hosting events in several states. Defamation Prevention League.. Still, despite what looked like a lively and targeted promotional campaign Huntington Beach Ku Klux Klan Flyer, Long Beach and Newport Beach — Voter turnout was low nationwide.
“There is no central organizer,” wrote the manager of the Western Xenophobia, a sectarian group of Proud Boys with more than 46,000 followers on Telegram. “You are the organizer. If your local march doesn’t happen, it’s because you didn’t arrange it.”
In the days leading up to the rally, the Huntington Beach Police Department said it was trying to “avoid surprises” and encourage local government ordinances and laws to be reminded. But on Sunday, police spokesman Lieutenant Brian Smith said they were unable to identify or contact the people behind the event.
Even William Quigg, known as the state leader of the Royal White Knights faction of the Ku Klux Klan in California, did not seem to be in command on Sunday, Levi said.
“It doesn’t look like there was a real organization around these protests,” he said. “You may have seen 10 White Lives Matter marchers, but they didn’t seem to be tuned at all and no one seemed to be in charge.”
Some rallies planned in other states and counties did not appear at all. In Sacramento, the only supporter of White Lives Matter appeared at McKinley Park and “left soon,” officials said.In Fresno, the Proud Boys delegation Weekly protests that upset the art district A police spokesperson said over the sale of a groundbreaking theater to a conservative church.
The organization of White Lives Matter has also permeated leftist activists who have disrupted Telegram’s online channels. By Sunday morning, future WLM demonstrators had posted uncertainty about the location of the protest and other information.
On April 9, the organizers of White Lives Matter sought to reassure their supporters of the post. “90% of these were created by well-meaning patriots and 10% were set by anti-Fauzi. Now removed.”
And while some people on Sunday’s wharf were clear about their ideological position, others supported a variety of causes. One waving the big Trump 2020 flag, while another waving the flag adorned with “All Lives Matter.”
Diane Kruzen, 65, said she and others were there to show support for the police. “We’re here, but we’re not putting things on flags, signs, or sweatshirts,” said Kruzen, who presumed that the majority of the crowd was against the opposition.
“I don’t know why’Black Lives Matter’is more important than’All Lives Matter’,” she said.
According to experts, a variety of people attend events such as Sunday rallies. Some are tinkering with the idea of joining a radical group, others want to see what it is, and their views on a changing world that they don’t understand or are uncomfortable with. Some people want to hear it. Research Center for Hatred and Extremism at California State University, San Bernardino.
“Some people show up knowing exactly what’s in the cereal box, some are bullying, others are adjacent to the Nazis. All these people want to listen. However, the direction and depth of their prejudice is not uniform, “Levin said.
He said creating publicity was the main goal of these rallies. The group also wants to show their relevance and recruit new members.
“At these types of rallies, even when they’re enthusiastic, they offer a high degree of publicity that is part of the oxygen these groups need,” Levin said. Not only mainstream people, but also extreme people who think they are wrong. “
And while less attendance on Sundays may suggest that people are increasingly less willing to be publicly involved with white supremacy, some experts are more vigilant. ..
Some said they were hoping for more white supremacist activity in the coming months, which could include lonely wolf violence and organized marches. On Monday, one of Telegram’s white supremacist channels promised more action and better security, and in May announced another event that was “very scrutinized this time.”
“Don’t think the militants are out of duty. They just reorganized in a disturbing way,” Levin said. “Now we are seeing a slimmer, sneaky, less open type of extremism.”
Lowell Smith, chairman of the Criminal Justice Program at the University of La Sierra and a former Orange County law enforcement officer specializing in the far-right movement, said the group he is monitoring is the Biden administration’s immigration policy and other current events. He said he wanted to take advantage of his fears of politics.
Radical groups claim that Democrats are planning to change voter population statistics through illegal immigrants. As the border crisis progresses, racist groups will probably take advantage of it and address issues such as police equity, he said. One of the potential flash points is the jury’s decision in the trial of a white police officer in Minneapolis. Derek Chauvin For the murder of George Floyd. This week, the killing of another black man, Daunte Wright, by Minnesota police officers caused both civil unrest and counterattacks from conservative groups.
Mr Smith said the underground movement “will monitor the political environment in the United States and select and select issues that they can push forward.”
This story was originally Los Angeles Times..