EL MONTE, Calif (Jan. 25)
The war against the Nazis in this quiet Los Angeles suburb is shaping up into a series of dramatic battles as the Jewish Defense League joins with Blacks, Chicanos and other community members to try to oust the party from its headquarters here. With local government pledging its support of the efforts although legally disarmed to act directly against the problem, the JDL, Christian groups and infuriated citizens are waging the war in their own way.
A major battle is set for next Sunday when thousands of demonstrators are expected to march in front of the Nazi headquarters building at 4375 Peck Road. It follows an emotional and vigorous appeal by the activists to local government leaders during a “summit” meeting with the El Monte City Council.
The Nazi headquarters, a small converted home in a racially mixed, semi-residential neighborhood, is occupied by some 25 uniformed “storm troopers,” most of whom are under 25 years of age, who sell and distribute party literature, including copies of “Mein Kampf.” Swastika arm bands, flags and other materials are available in the lobby of the headquarters which is covered on the outside with swastikas and the Nazi flags.
NO VIOLENCE EXPECTED
Community leaders and most Southland residents admit the presence of the Nazis is an unfortunate reality and a definite “detriment” to the image of El Monte, but are bound by the lack of legal means to solve the dilemma. The only real legal tool available, say local officials, is the city “public nuisance” ordinance which, they say, has not yet been violated by the Nazis. The Sunday demonstration will be observed with more than casual interest by local law enforcement agencies.
JDL members in the City Council meeting warned that they could not guarantee against violence in the face of adverse Nazi reaction to the violence in the face of adverse Nazi reaction to the demonstration. Irv Rubin, West Coast coordinator of the JDL Los Angeles chapter, said, however, “it is unlikely ‘hat the Nazis will attack.” He said they have become “a cowardly and demented lot.”
In addition to the pressure being applied to the local government to seek legal steps aimed at ousting the Nazis, the JDL is attempting to convince the landlords of the headquarters building to cancel their lease. These efforts so far have met with a noncommittal attitude. The Nazis were evicted from a previous headquarters facility in Glendale, another Los Angeles suburb, in 1965 on a zoning technicality, which is pending in the courts.