EL MONTE, Calif. (Feb. 6)
Forty demonstrators face felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from a Jewish Defense League-sponsored rally in front of the headquarters of the National Socialist White People’s (Nazi) Party here. The demonstration last week turned briefly violent in a crossfire of rocks and bottles that smashed windows, bloodied a policeman’s nose, and required some 100 law enforcement officers to break up the crowd, about 1,000 angry citizens.
About 100 members of the JDL met in nearby Lambert Park before the march to bring pressure on the city to oust the Nazis from the two-story house at 4375 N. Peck Rd. They regrouped at the park after the march and then dispersed. There was no indication that they participated in the melee that followed. The crowd remained for six hours after the march by the JDL.
It was after the march that the rock and bottle-throwing began, from both the crowd and the uniformed Nazis of Storm Troop 5. One policeman was hit by a flying bottle, causing a bloody nose. Eggs also were thrown and at one point a cherry bomb and firecrackers exploded. Twenty Nazis, some carrying rifles, were lined up inside a fence around their swastika-emblazoned headquarters. Police made five sweeps of the crowd, during which 38 persons were arrested for disturbing the peace and failure to disperse after the demonstration had been declared an unlawful assembly. Two others were arrested for felonious assault, police reported. All were released on bail.
The JDL, under the direction of Irv Rubin, plans to demonstrate further until the Nazis are removed from the city. Earlier in the week, it declared that violence would occur if the Nazis forced the issue. Ironically, however, spectators started throwing rocks and bottles at the Nazis after the JDL members dispersed.
The city of El Monte has said that its hands are tied in an effort to oust the party from the building which the Nazis occupy under a legal leasing arrangement with the landlord. The city’s “public nuisance” ordinance has not been violated since the Nazis established their headquarters in the city four years ago, officials said.