The “white lives matter” rally at the pier in Huntington Beach was scheduled to start at 1 pm Sunday. As I said Saturday, I wasn’t sure how to respond to that but in the end I decided to go down there with a camera and just try to document what was happening. I was there at 1 pm and stayed for about 45 minutes. There were a few scuffles and plenty of shouting but I didn’t see any Nazis. Here’s what I did see.
When I first came down Main St. toward the pier there was a man holding some Trump flags who had attracted a bunch of attention. During the lockdowns the pier had become a hotspot for protesters like this who were anti-mask wearing. Those folks usually show up on Saturday but this guy showed up Sunday and got plenty of attention:
And standing right next to him was a police officer. His badge was visible on his belt. You can just see the edge of it in this photo.
Usually, when you go down to the pier on a weekend, it’s a crowd scene. There are always tourists and locals waiting to cross Pacific Coast Highway and back again. You might see a cop or two around but you don’t see police cars on the sidewalk. There were dozens of cops on hand yesterday. They were mostly trying to keep the streets open for traffic.
Across PCH, lined up along the street was the main BLM counter-protest. They had arrived earlier, around 11 am.
When you got to the other sided of PCH, there was a group of maybe 30 or so people who were clearly there with BLM. They were holding signs.
Socialists often turn up at these things and this appears to be the international answer group, or something similar.
The woman with multi-colored hair had a sign that read “Witches against white supremacy.” You go, Hermione!
And no leftists counter-protest is complete without hostility toward the police.
I’m not sure but this might be the other side of that same sign. It reads “Blue lives splatter” which seems like an implied threat.
But most of the signs were stuff like this:
At the front of this small crowd there were a few people with a megaphone. For the time I was there, this woman was doing most of the cheerleading. It was mostly the old hits, i.e. What do we want? Justice! but I did hear some anti-cop slogans as well.
While I was watching all of this, there was a big disruption across the street. I couldn’t really see what happened and neither could anyone around me but there was some action involving the cops and the crowd got into it.
When I got back across the street I saw the closest thing to a fight during the time I was there. A small group of 4-5 leftists were standing on the sidewalk chanting “All cops are bastards” at the police who were a few feet away. Some guy was crossing the street with his bike and he interjected and said the chant was disrespectful. They called him a “white boy” and told him to go away and that began a loud argument that lasted about 10 minutes.
The guy who was defending the cops accused the leftists of being hateful toward police who were just doing their job and the protesters kept escalating, taking turns calling him a Nazi, etc. It was clear the people on the left had a lot of pent up energy they were hoping to unleash and anyone who dared to speak up was quickly deemed a monster.
I left after about 15 minutes of this. Across the street the guy with the Trump flags who I photographed on the way in was arrested. That brought more cheers from the crowd but I don’t know that he did anything. I think he got into a scuffle after people tried to take his flags.
About half an hour after I left the whole thing was deemed an unlawful assembly and the cops told everyone to leave. Here’s how the LA Times sums it up:
The demonstration began peacefully, but as the day went on and the crowd swelled, several confrontations between attendees broke out in the city’s downtown commercial district. Some traded punches, prompting police intervention, while others threw verbal jabs within inches of each others’ faces. Diners eating lunch watched the chaos unfold from a second-floor patio at Fred’s Mexican Cafe and Cantina.
Police arrested 12 people during the rally. Two people were accused of using amplified sound. Police said one person had obstructed law enforcement and that his backpack held a metal baton, two cans of pepper spray and a knife.
Others were arrested and booked at the city jail on suspicion of public intoxication, fighting or carrying prohibited items at a rally such as pepper spray and long flag poles, Huntington Beach Police Lt. Brian Smith said.
So did the Nazis ever show up for this event? Well, there were a few individuals scattered throughout the crowd who might fit that description. I didn’t see any of them personally but others who were there did. For instance, the guy in this clip had a swastika tattoo on his forearm:
A neo-Nazi with a swastika tattoo assaults an Asian-American man asking “why do you hate me so much”. Police arrested him shortly after. Full video available for licensing. #HuntingtonBeach pic.twitter.com/ZgTc9mDDNl
— Andrew Kimmel (@andrewkimmel) April 11, 2021
That guy wound up getting arrested. As you can see in the clip below, there were a couple of scuffles on the street and a guy identified as the leader of the local Klan group did show up.
— Status Coup News (@StatusCoup) April 12, 2021
Another guy showed up in a full face mask and allegedly said “white lives matter.” He was quickly attacked by people dressed in black bloc.
Huntington Beach: Lone guy in the army green cowl ran through the BLM crowd yelling “White Lives Matter” & This Is America”
He was chased through the streets of HB until police intervened. Tense all around. pic.twitter.com/XPmlXXKQMD
— Tomas Morales (@TomasMorales_iv) April 11, 2021
Here he is ranting about “our land.” Police escorted him to the police station, I think for his own protection:
— Waterspider (@waterspider__) April 11, 2021
My impression is that there were maybe a dozen of these guys over the course of 3-4 hours but they were lost in a crowd of 400+ people. Not only were they vastly outnumbered by counter-protesters but also by cops, the media and even by tourists. They appear to be a tiny, pathetic fringe which is the impression I had of them even before I went to the rally.
Update: The HB rally was one of several that were planned for yesterday. NBC News reports they were all failures.
Hyped by organizers as events that would make “the whole world tremble,” the rallies ran into a major problem: Hardly anyone showed up…
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a small crowd of antifa and anti-racist protesters gathered at the park where the “White Lives Matter” march was planned. They marched around downtown behind a large white sign that read, “WE ACCEPT YOUR SURRENDER.”…
In Philadelphia, activists tweeted photos of a counterprotest picnic with pizza and Tastykake snacks. In New York City, over a dozen counterprotesters stood seemingly unopposed across the street from Trump Tower, where a “White Lives Matter” rally was expected.
There’s more but basically no one showed up at any of these things. The handful who did were always outnumbered usually fled. Huntington Beach gets a mention in the story and NBC’s description matches mine, i.e. a tiny handful of actual Nazis and a sea of counter-protesters.