Five before Midnight

This site is dedicated to the continuous oversight of the Riverside(CA)Police Department, which was formerly overseen by the state attorney general. This blog will hopefully play that role being free of City Hall's micromanagement.
"The horror of that moment," the King went on, "I shall never, never forget." "You will though," the Queen said, "if you don't make a memorandum of it." --Lewis Carroll


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Location: RiverCity, Inland Empire

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Riverside: City of Arts, Innovation and...Nazi rallies

"The Holocaust also shows us how a combination of events and attitudes can erode a society's democratic values."

---Tim Holden

"The Nazis victimized some people for what they did, some for what they refused to do, some for what they were, and some for the fact that they were."

---John Conway

"If you look at the election of the first black president and the state of the economy being what it is today, with unemployment at an all-time high, these types of things are kind of a perfect storm for these feelings to foment and for white supremacists to feel validated."

---Joanna Mendelson, Anti-Defamation League

"Have you noticed that everyone has the freedom of speech except any white group. If it was not for the white man no one would care to live in the US, because it would be just another crime infested country. They have rights to speak out. Sergio Ramos says that they don't have the right to be here. Since when. It is Mr.Ramos who does not have the right to be here."

---Anonymous commenter at

Images of the Holocaust

The Press Enterprise wrote this article about the decision of local members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) to hold a rally in Riverside, California as part of a day of similar rallies countywide held at areas where day laborers congregate. The response to this article in the comments section was pretty immediate and prolific.


Holy Smokes. Riverside is the headquarters for the California branch of this group? Maybe the Chamber of Commerce should host a counter-rally as well. I can't think of anything more degrading to a city than to host these creeps.

Other cities/counties have peace marches and rainbow coalition fairs, but not here. Here in Riverside we host the NEO NAZIs. What is with this place? If want Riverside to be a great place for all then we need to do something about these Neo Nazis who want to make our county it's base! People, wake up!

The Inland Empire...nazi rally, statewide nazi office for California....hate-mongers hired by Neil Derry & paid by the County Citizens.....I have a great idea for a border fence: a huge one surrounding San Bernardino, Riverside, Redlands to keep all of the whackos contained inside of it!

No, I get out a lot.
My point in saying it was, that it's right in Casa Blanca.
And they are NOT moved by any authorities what so ever.
There is a constant presence at that corner.
There is also another just like it, when you make the connection from old Magnolia in Corona going east, right at Home Gardens.
Either way, loitering is a code violation.
Don't see why it is not dealt with.

And they really are no different then the prostitutes.

Selling your services, per use of your body.

"The movement supports the expulsion of all nonwhite immigrants."

This doesn't sound Nazi to you? LOL

So its ok for an Irish illegal immigrant to seek work at Home Depot...but not a Mexican illegal immigrant? Nazi's are so silly.

I'm not saying either is right....illegal is illegal. But no one can deny the racial undertone (errr overtone...its so obvious) to this protest.

They are trying to come across as being concerned citizens by ostensibly leading a protest against illegal immigration. You are naïve if you think that is the only reason, that they hate Latinos is an added bonus for them.

Don’t forget these are the same people that won’t think twice about putting their steel toed boots to somebody’s head because they are not of the Aryan race. So for that I hope they’re confronted with an army of concerned citizens, who don’t need their kind of hatred in our community.

Let real citizens protest illegal immigration. Not a bunch of skin-headed hoodlums.

"Hall said armed movement members regularly patrol the California border with Mexico..." Wow. Y'all need to find a hobby. Needlepoint is very calming.

What do Nazis look like? They look like a lot of different people wandering around society. They're White because after all, it's a White Supremacist movement. Most are men though there's some women and a lot of them shave their heads and wear steel toed boots and black tee-shirts with some Nazi insigna on them. But when they're not playing Nazis, they go about their lives like most anyone else, hiding in plain sight.

Until Saturday morning anyway.

The NSM as its members call themselves issued this press release about its decision to launch a county-wide protest in the Inland Empire. Last year a chapter started in Riverside which represents the state but it's not clear how many members have joined up. Several agencies and organizations including the United States Department of Justice and The Anti-Defamation League have been monitoring the situation particularly in the past couple of weeks when news apparently got out that a Nazi rally had been planned.

In the Nazis' press release, they offered themselves up for interviews with the local media and said that anyone who wanted to do a "ride along" with them as they patrolled this country as part of their efforts to build their drive to be the largest pro-white national socialist group in America. And yes, they will be bringing the Nazi flags to fly alongside the American flag. Actually, the flags themselves are a curious marriage between those two flags.

And to say that this group is just about celebrating White heritage, or a White Pride movement or being against illegal immigration, read their 25 points of NSM and see you still believe that.



1. We demand the union of all Whites into a greater America on the basis of the right of national self-determination.

2. We demand equality of rights for the American people in its dealings with other nations, and the revocation of the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the World Bank, the North American Free Trade Agreement, the World Trade Organization, and the International Monetary Fund.

3. We demand land and territory (colonies) to feed our people and to settle surplus population.

4. Only members of the nation may be citizens of the state. Only those of pure White blood, whatever their creed, may be members of the nation. Non-citizens may live in America only as guests and must be subject to laws for aliens. Accordingly, no Jew or homosexual may be a member of the nation.

5. The right to vote on the State government and legislation shall be enjoyed by citizens of the state alone.

We therefore demand that all official appointments, of whatever kind, whether in the nation, in the states or in smaller localities, shall be held by none but citizens.

We oppose the corrupting parliamentary custom of filling posts merely in accordance with party considerations and special interests-without reference to character or abilities.

6. We demand that the State shall make it its primary duty to provide a livelihood for its citizens. If it should prove impossible to feed the entire population, foreign nationals (non-citizens) will be deported.

7. All non-White immigration must be prevented. We demand that all non-Whites currently residing in America be required to leave the nation forthwith and return to their land of origin: peacefully or by force.

8. All citizens shall have equal rights and duties, regardless of class or station.

9. It must be the first duty of every citizen to perform physical or mental work. The activities of the individual must not clash within the framework of the community and be for the common good.

We therefore demand:

10. The abolition of incomes unearned by work The breaking of interest slavery.

11. In view of the enormous personal sacrifices of life and property demanded of a nation by any war, personal enrichment from war must be regarded as a crime against the nation. We therefore demand the ruthless confiscation of all war profits.

12. We demand the nationalization of all businesses which have been formed into corporations (trusts).

13. We demand economic reform suitable to our national requirements;

The prohibition of pro-marxist unions and their supplantation with National Socialist trade unions;

The passing of a law instituting profit-sharing in large industrial enterprises;

The creation of a livable wage;

The restructuring of social security and welfare to include drug testing for welfare recipients;

The immediate discontinuation of all taxes on things of life's necessity, such as food, clothing, shelter, medicine etc.:

The replacement of the current tax system with a flat-rate tax based on income.

14. We demand the treasonable system of health care be completely revolutionized.

We demand an end to the status quo in which people die or rot away from lack of proper treatment due to the failure of their medical coverage, Health Maintenance Organization, or insurance policy.

We further demand the extensive development of insurance for old age and that prescription drugs be made both affordable and accessible.

15. We demand the creation and maintenance of a healthy middle class, the immediate communalizing of big department stores and their lease at a cheap rate to small traders, and that the utmost consideration shall be shown to all small trades in the placing of state and municipal orders.

16. We demand a land reform suitable to our national requirements, that shall be twofold in nature:

The primary land reform will be to ensure all members of the nation receive affordable housing. The party as such stands explicitly for private property.

However, we support the passing of a law for the expropriation of land for communal purposes without compensation when deemed necessary for land illegally acquired, or not administered in accordance with the national welfare.

We further demand the abolition of ground rent, the discontinuation of all taxes on property, and the prohibition of all speculation in land.

The secondary land reform will be to ensure the environmental integrity of the nation is preserved;

By setting aside land for national wildlife refuges;

By cleaning the urban, agricultural, and hydrographical (water) areas of the nation;

By creating legislation regulating the amount of pollution, carbon dioxide, greenhouse gases , and toxins released into the atmosphere;

And for the continued research and development of clean burning fuels and energy sources.

17. We demand the ruthless prosecution of those whose activities are injurious to the common interest. Murderers, rapists, pedophiles, drug dealers, usurers, profiteers, race traitors, etc. must be severely punished, whatever their creed or race.

18. We demand that Roman edict law, which serves a materialistic new world order, be replaced by Anglo-Saxon common law.

19. The state must consider a thorough reconstruction of our national system of education with the aim of opening up to every able and hardworking American the possibility of higher education and of thus obtaining advancement.

The curricula of all educational establishments must be brought into line with the requirements of practical life.

The aim of the school must be to give the pupil, beginning with the first sign of intelligence, a grasp of the state of the nation through the study of civic affairs.

We demand the education of gifted children of poor parents, whatever their class or occupation, at the expense of the state.

20. The state must ensure that the nation's health standards are raised by protecting mothers, infants, and the unborn:

By prohibiting abortion and euthanasia, except in cases of rape, incest, race-mixing, or mental retardation

By prohibiting child labor and ending the rudiments of child abuse, alcoholism, and drug addiction.

By creating conditions to make possible the reestablishment of the nuclear family in which the father works while the mother stays at home and takes care of the children if they so choose.

By taking away the economic burden associated with childbirth and replacing it with a structured system of pay raises for those that give birth to healthy babies, thereby returning the blessing associated with children.

To further ensure that the nation's health standards are raised, legislation shall be passed promoting physical strength and providing for compulsory gymnastics and sports, and by the extensive support of clubs engaged in the physical training of youth.

21. We demand the right to bear arms for law-abiding citizens.

22. We demand the abolition of the mercenary army, the end to the over-use of our military as a 'Meals-on-Wheels' program in foreign lands of no vital interest to our nation; and the formation of a true national service for the defense of our race and nation. One that excludes: non-Americans, criminals, and sensitivity training.

23. We demand legal warfare on deliberate political mendacity and its dissemination in the press. To facilitate the creation of a national press we demand:

(a) That all editors of and contributors to newspapers appearing in the English language must be members of the nation;

(b) That no non-American newspapers may appear without the express permission of the State. They must not be written in the English language;

(c) That non-Whites shall be prohibited by law from participating financially in or influencing American newspapers, and that the penalty for contravening such a law shall be the suppression of any such newspapers, and the immediate deportation of the non-Americans involved.

The publishing of papers which are not conducive to the national welfare must be forbidden. We demand the legal prosecution of all those tendencies in art and literature which corrupt our national life, and the suppression of cultural events which violate this demand.

24. We demand absolute religious freedom for all denominations in the State, provided they do not threaten its existence nor offend the moral feelings of the White race. The Party combats the Jewish-materialistic spirit within and without us, and is convinced that our nation can achieve permanent health only from within on the basis of the principle: The common good before self-interest.

25. To put the whole program into effect, we demand the creation of a strong central national government for the nation; the unconditional authority of the political central parliament over the entire nation and its organizations; and the formation of committees for the purpose of carrying out the general legislation passed by the nation and the various American States.

The leaders of the movement promise to work ruthlessly-if need be to sacrifice their very lives-to translate this program into action.

And they probably wouldn't mind taking a few (non-White) lives with them during this "work". After all, Tom Metzger, the leader of a White Supremacist organization in Fallbrook was linked to the murder of an Ethiopian man who was killed by members of his racist organization and ultimately held liable at least in civil court. Yet, for a time Metzger was in the mainstream winning the Democratic Party nomination to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1980. His party responded by endorsing the Republican who ran against him.

Randall Bowen was attacked and wounded by a mob of Western Hammarskin skinheads in 1999. Two of his attackers went to prison and four others in the mob took plea bargains involving jail time. Metzger sat in the courtroom during several of their court appearances.

Reading the list of "points", it looks like it's adopting positions on issues from several different political issues and some of them are the hot button issues of this time. But what's clear is that these benefits are for Whites only because their version of the United States is very limited in who will be afforded citizenship.

Affordable housing, affordable health care, things that appeal to a lot of people especially right now, but only Whites (and "pure" ones at that) are allowed to live in their vision of the United States. Perhaps and it's scary to think so, they'd actually attract more recruits if they emphasized these two areas, rather than immigrant (and they don't really like non-White legal immigrants much either and have no problem with White undocumented immigrants) bashing.

So as you can see, it's not "illegal immigration" that is their main thrust, but that's the group of people and sentiment they are trying to attract because according to their own "points", anyone who's not White, heterosexual and Christian is essentially an "alien". In Riverside, that means that Councilman Andrew Melendrez is an "alien". It means that Asst. Chief John De La Rosa, Deputy Chief Pete Esquivel and Lt. Larry Gonzalez, all Latino officers from the Riverside Police Department all of who attended the rallies as part of their jobs are all "aliens" as were some of the police officers who showed up to protect the Nazis' right to exercise the First Amendment. None of them would have a right to live in this country under those 25 Points, certainly not as citizens. Even Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco would be an "alien" and subject to deportation and most of all the residents of the neighborhood that the Nazis chose for their protest.

So it's not about citizens having more rights than legal immigrants and especially undocumented ones, it's about skin color and religious ideology and sexual orientation serving as the criteria regarding who would be a citizen in their United States. Oh and you can't be disabled, nor can your children.

That's why you don't see the NSM up in Portland, Oregon for example where 75% of undocumented immigrants are from European countries especially the former Soviet Union. Even though the Northwestern part of the United States has attracted racist ideologists, their focus has been on people of color because those individuals are included in the list of people who wouldn't be allowed to have citizenship in the United States, Nazi style.

But then again, you don't see the Minutemen up rallying up there either. The ones from there come down to California and Arizona to rally against brown undocumented immigrants. The Nazis do turn out at the Minutemen's protests usually hanging out with the guys who fly the Confederate flags. And it's not like the Minutemen chase them off or tell them to leave because they don't want to be associated with their kind.

No, you see the NSM folks rallying further south where stronger concentrations of undocumented immigrants are brown. They chose a neighborhood to rally in that is predominantly Latino and Black, rather than White even though everyone knows that most of the White Supremacists ("groups" because they're hardly ever called "gangs") hang out in the southern areas of Riverside. If you go up to the Mission Grove Plaza, you can see men with shaved heads and "White Pride" tattooed on their arms and if you go on a bus, you might sit down next to a man wearing twin lightning bolts (which is associated with Nazism)
on his arm. It's pretty shocking the first time you see it, but then you get more jaded each time.

Rumors are that White-Supremacist gang members have beaten up Guatemalan immigrants but these immigrants never report it and why should they, now that the police department which is supposed to protect the public is teaming up with the U.S. Border Patrol? Why report a beating when you might get detained and deported after being handed over to Border Patrol? And it's no idle fear as one of the fastest growing categories of hate crimes in the Inland Empire are against Latinos who are either undocumented immigrants or perceived to be because people who are physically violent and hateful towards particular racial groups probably aren't going to ask first. Not to mention that the raids of the day laborer site which was the epicenter of the Nazis' rally started around the same time some border patrol agents in the Riverside office began complaining about being expected to meet arrest and detention quotas or else.

The Riverside Police Department has done some really good work helping undocumented women who are victims of domestic violence (and several federal statutes give these women access to Visas) and treating them as victims or survivors, not as criminals. That's the type of policing that needs more support because for one thing, what if there's a violent crime and your only witnesses are too afraid to come forward because they're undocumented?

The one thing that's clear is that there are hate gangs (and that's what they are under the legal definition) that are attracted to the Inland Empire including Riverside and there are hate groups like this local chapter of the NSM (which haven't been associated with violence locally)that are as well.

And why would the Nazis want to set up a chapter in Riverside anyway? That question is both simple and complicated to answer.

Three Rallies, Different Messages

Saturday morning broke and the Nazis, all nine of them, came and rallied in Riverside. Apparently, their leader Jeff Hall who runs their local office couldn't make it to push their numbers into the double digits because his car broke down en route.

They congregated at the Home Depot on Indiana and Madison but didn't stay there very long before being confronted by several hundred counter demonstrators who apparently grabbed some Nazi flags, ripped them up and chased them back into their cars by about 10:45, just before I arrived. A Press Enterprise photo on its Web site did show two groups of people jostling with a man with the silver cross tattooed on his arm grabbing someone else's arm. It's hard to believe that someone who would tattoo something like that on his body (and experience some degree of physical pain in the process) would not know the horrible history that this symbol represents. Or even worse, he wouldn't care.

The Police Department dispatched riot police and the METRO squad team out to do crowd control and a helicopter flew overhead. Most of the demonstrators who protested the Nazis in Casa Blanca were from outside the neighborhood. Most of the people who lived in the neighborhood who were in the area just watched them rally and didn't join in, some of them wondering why they were protesting the Nazis when they couldn't even see them. and why they had come to Casa Blanca in the first place.

Confronting the Nazis the way that these counter demonstrators did brought increased police activity into the predominantly Latino neighborhood that has long struggled with its relationship with the police department especially considering that one police officer stationed there gets probably more complaints made (but few filed with the CPRC) than any other police officer in the department. He didn't appear to be there but over a dozen other police officers were there to address a situation where a confrontation had taken place and some of them remained even after the demonstrators had moved on.

It's interesting how police administrations believe that there are two classes of protesters. Those who have to be protected by police from others and those that others have to be protected from. The anti-war demonstrators who protested both the Afghanistan and Iraq wars in 2001 and 2003 often felt the police were there to protect other people from their protest even as they were getting egg thrown at them, shot with a flare gun, shot at with a real gun, stabbed by skinheads and in the case of a young woman, hit in the eye with one-inch bolt and losing sight in that eye. By the time someone fired a gun at a group of them near Starbucks on University and Iowa, they had stopped calling police and when the police found out, they got upset at them for not calling them about it. But at that point, these activists didn't feel like they could. After all, when one police officer pulled his car over in front of them, he laughed at them and cracked a joke about what they were doing so people viewed the department as not responding to them because it disagreed with them about the war. After having a long discussion with the police department, there was a greater police presence at subsequent rallies and the peace activists felt more along the lines that the police were protecting them and not others from them. But that conversation had to take place first and often it's communication that makes changes that both the communities and police can live with.

Protesting isn't always safe in Riverside.

So you can argue that the Nazis needed to be protected from harm while they protest because of people's reactions to them based on the history of that ideology and what it's done to people. Six million and more dead in concentration camps, as part of a government eugenics program. Why would anyone want to be associated with that kind of past? Why would anybody want to bring those values back?

Nazism and its symbols invoke strong emotional responses in people who are confronted by it, both in its small and larger displays. Even as Germany spent decades after World War II being split in two by two different political ideologies and governments, a reunified country grapples with its own history of Nazism. And exactly how much free speech and expression given to those who are trying to bring it back.

The United States own history with Nazism and fascism in other countries has been complicated and murky in its own way. After all, many of the major businessmen in the United States brokered deals with fascist dictator Benito Mussolini and sold steal to Italy so it could build its ships and tanks which would later be turned against the United States. Antisemitism was rampant in the 1930s during the Great Depression because it's during the toughest economic times that philosophies like fascism, communism and Nazism take root and grow. Millions of people were killed under the regimes of Hitler, Mussolini, Josef Stalin and other dictators.

But Mussolini was such a great guy at least for a while according to business men in the United States and who's that standing in the photo with him in the above link? The one with the Charlie Chaplin mustache?


Before that, though, in the 1920s and even into the 1930s, many leading Europeans and Americans paid honor to the Duce as a wise leader. When Mussolini waged terrorist war against Libyan nationalists in 1927, Winston Churchill said he rendered a service to the whole world. Richard Washburn Child, a novelist who was American ambassador to Italy when Mussolini took power, later ghostwrote Mussolini’s “autobiography,” praising him in the book’s preface as a man who, like few in history, had created a new state with a dynamic program.

Mussolini was not the only dictator of his time. In his Europe, in a time of worldwide economic depression, a whole series of governments were run by “strong men.” Besides Mussolini in Italy and Hitler in Germany, there were authoritarian regimes if not dictatorships in the 1930s in Bulgaria, Estonia, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Portugal, and Spain. There were Blueshirts in Ireland, Blackshirts in Britain, and Vidkun Quisling’s followers in Norway. At the eastern end of Europe lay the greatest dictatorship of them all, Stalin’s Soviet Union.

But that was then, and this is now, the day that the Nazis have decided to hold their rally in Riverside, the All-American City, the Most Livable City, the City of Arts and Innovation and so forth and now, the host of the state office of the nation's largest neo-Nazi organization. None of the city's political leaders commented publicly on this situation nor did any of them attend the counter-rally in downtown Riverside just outside the building where most of them have offices. And it appears that the aforementioned Chamber of Commerce didn't send representatives either. After all, if Riverside hosts the state-wide chapter of the Nazi Party, does that make this city more business friendly or less? Perhaps they think if they ignore them, then that sends a statement that they oppose their ideology and presence in this city. But some people have often said that silence equals complicity and they are right. Others feel like they're not voicing their objection to Nazism and other hateful philosophies unless they do it more forcefully but if they do that then they're just acting more like...Nazis. Both groups feel like there's only one proper way to respond. To either ignore it and hope it goes away or to stomp out any sign of it, before it can grow.

Believe it or not, there's plenty of room in between to respond to Nazis coming up and trying to set up roots in what they believe is fertile ground in Riverside. There were several hundred of those who did peacefully protest their presence and didn't run up to them and rip Nazi flags and tear them apart. First of all, doing that sends the message that the counter demonstrators are violent which played into the Nazis' hands and 2) the people who are doing it are doing it in someone else's neighborhood. So those that do things like that might feel good believing they've stomped out Nazism, won the game so to speak, when they hop on the 91 Freeway and go back home to your neighborhood or your city but what about the neighborhood they've just left?

Casa Blanca And Day Laborers

The issue of the day laborers is very complicated in Casa Blanca where many congregate at some business areas including McDonalds and Home Depot. It's been an issue that has been debated and discussed at many community meetings including those held by the Community Action Group. Casa Blanca, one of the city's oldest communities has always had a wealth of leaders invested in the many different challenges that it's faced since the days when its residents served as an active labor force for the region's then vibrant citrus industry. But not everyone in the neighborhood agrees on the issue just like any place else.

The community has also engaged with the city council though they had difficulties with their past councilman, Frank Schiavone in terms of getting him involved in the issue. There were many discussions held out whether or not to put up a day laborer center or not and if so, where and how. Other organizations including one at the University of California, Riverside have been involved in the day laborer debate.

The police department met last year with representatives from the local office of U.S. Border Patrol to discuss their efforts at detention and identification of the nationality of people detained. Not long after that beginning in January, both agencies swept in and did arrests and people of mainly Guatemalan backgrounds looking for construction jobs were detained, arrested and some deported. For a while, the police department's leadership was somewhat vague both on these raids and its relationship with Border Patrol, even when pressed. And when the National Day Laborer Network submitted a California Public Records Act Request to the police department asking for data on arrests and detentions of individuals, they received scant information from the department which met their request. The Network then sued the department and the city in the Riverside County Superior Court and a tentative date for a status hearing was set for November.

It's difficult to sum it all up in a few words or catchy slogans in a community filled with diverse opinions on those issues which is one reason why the message that these demonstrators were sending didn't appear to appeal much to people in Casa Blanca. It's always like that when you go into a neighborhood unannounced without talking to anyone who lives there about what their feelings are, including about having Nazis within their boundaries and that's something that should always come first.

Nearby, a long-time Press Enterprise reporter was on his cell phone sounding a bit piqued saying that they would have had to zoom way in to maybe get a picture of the Nazis before they fled the Home Depot. He said that the only thing going on right now was that there were about a hundred of people congregated across the street from Farmer's Boys shouting across the street from where he stood. They were at that time standing near an auto parts shop in a large group. A couple street vendors were selling ice cream and drinks on the very hot day. The riot police and SWAT team were strung out across the driveway and into the drive-thru area of the Farmer's Boy restaurant across the street.

There's some pictures below in this blog that you won't see in the mainstream media like the Press Enterprise because they don't involve people confronting each other and ripping things out of each other's hands. On the Press Enterprise site, there weren't any photos of the demonstration downtown nor were there any photos of the protest that took place after the Nazis left. As far as the newspaper was concerned, the whole issue was settled when the Nazis fled in their cars as if that were what the issue was all about when in reality, it's about Riverside and why they decided to set up their state office here in the first place.

[Over a hundred individuals congregate near Indiana and Madison in Casa Blanca to counter-demonstrate against a Nazi rally going on behind a police barricade at Home Depot.]

[People demonstrating against the Nazi rally that took place at Home Depot in Casa Blanca]

Asst. Police Chief John De La Rosa stood next to Lt. Larry Gonzalez who heads the department's SWAT and Aviation units and one of his sergeants, Eric Charrette who oversaw the action at the site. They seemed pretty calm and most of the police officers were getting into their cars and leaving at this point. Two officers in a patrol car remained parked in one of the driveways to Farmer's Boys which was nestled in between the 91 Freeway and a set of railroad tracks.

Home Depot's head of security, Joe Vazquez also stood in his uniform observing as well. Only about a month ago, Vazquez had been interviewed by the city council for the Ward Two position on the Community Police Review Commission. His security company has contracted with Home Depot and provide security at many of its stores in Southern California including the one on Madison Avenue. His form of security specializes in handling what are called "day laborer issues".

The protesters in Casa Blanca dispersed soon after, leaving the neighborhood they had borrowed as their canvas for a day to go back to its life. Are the Nazis gone for good when it comes to protesting in Casa Blanca, or will they back bolstered by their national headquarters? That remains to be seen what the future holds.

Someone who claimed to have a police scanner commented at the Press Enterprise site on the demonstration.

There was a confrontation and the NSM members left the rally. Some counter-protesters grabbed the NSM flag(s?) and ripped it up and there was some name calling and yelling. I think someone maybe followed the NSM members because later on my scanner someone reported a group of people canvassing a neighborhood door to door looking for Neo-Nazis.


Apparently, information about the founder of the local chapter of the NSM had been passed out at one or both of the rallies and some of the people wanted to protest in the neighborhood where the head Nazi lived. As long as people are peaceful, remain on public property and obey all laws, it's legal to demonstrate in neighborhoods but most people do believe it's an invasion of privacy and it's not the best place or time to protest a philosophy. Even if people in the neighborhood didn't know they had a Nazi living in their midst, they might find visits by counter demonstrators alienating them rather than educating them.

Updates about the rallies were posted at Los Angeles Indy Media here and here mostly relating about how they chased the Nazis out of Riverside. But it remains to be seen if that's the case or whether or not they galvanized other chapters of the NSM to get involved or have helped plant a seed for it to grow. After all, the Nazis got away and they were able to make hay to the press about how they were forced to leave their demonstration and how the police department failed to protect them. This can only help their recruiting cause to get to go to the local media and talk about how they were attacked for exercising their First Amendment rights. After all, they had expressed this reservation that something might happen before they even demonstrated, setting the situation up for a physical confrontation.

After all, hate groups and gangs aren't like most other organizations. Violence or any physical force against them even minor galvanizes their recruitment efforts as they seek out other like-minded individuals during a time in this county's (and country's) history when there's a very unemployment rate and fewer jobs within the city and county. This leaves most parents commuting to their jobs in other counties and their kids home with their computers. Metzger and the heads of other White Supremacist groups and gangs were able to recruit young people in the commuter-heavy cities of Murrieta and Temecula. And in Riverside, another neighborhood that empties out during the day (hence the spikes in burglaries) is Orangecrest, another place of White Supremacist activity.

Gangs exist because they fill voids in young people's lives when there's nothing else to fill them. The same thing is true of White Supremacists including Nazis. You provide them a fertile ground for recruitment and they'll make the most of it.

City Hall Rally under the shadow of King

Meanwhile, in downtown Riverside about 100 people met to rally against the Nazis under the shadow as one speaker said, the Martin Luther King, jr. statue. Access to this rally was somewhat tricky because construction was taking place at City Hall blocking access to most of it. One construction guy joked to another that he had left him in charge for a minute and suddenly all these "squatters" had shown up.

These "squatters" were members of different churches and community organizations who met there to try to show that Riverside is really not about promoting hate. Speakers included a woman who had lost her entire family in the concentration camps during Nazism in Germany. Others said that it was urgent to act to help save others because if you don't, by the time you need saving, there's no one left.

People listened to the speeches while grabbing whatever shade they could find and applauded each speaker as they finished. The Brown Beret representative's speech was bumped up earlier in the program because he and his fellow members were going to go to the rally that was taking place in Casa Blanca. In fact, even though these demonstrators from two dozen organizations meant to send a message in a different way that they wouldn't tolerate intolerance, there was very little mention of them in the daily newspaper and no photographs. In fact, this might be the only photo that you'll see.

[Another 100 or so people rallying at City Hall in Riverside against the Nazi rally taking place several miles away]

The people and organizations who organized the City Hall rally didn't want to engage with the Nazis any more than the Nazis wanted to engage with them, which is one reason why they opted to release the news of their planned location ahead of time. But since they didn't want to engage the Nazis, they weren't going to get the press coverage.

They stood not far away from where demonstrators had stood 10 years earlier protesting the shooting death of Tyisha Miller and where candle light vigils had taken place protesting the firings and resignations of African-American and Latino employees from City Hall, along with lawsuits filed by other Black and Latino workers from various city departments.

To protest in the pedestrian mall these days, you have to purchase insurance and an expensive permit. Whether or not that was a change that came with its renovation or as part of the direction towards enhancing public expression in the vicinity of the city's governmental building isn't clear. But downtown's a location where there's never been a shortage of things to protest. Business owners who were pushed out of downtown by Eminent Domain including many that were owned by Asian-American and Latinos including some who had immigrated to the United States. City Hall is in close proximity to the downtown bus terminal where Greyhound Bus Lines and its 88,000 passengers annually were left in limbo as the passengers found themselves labeled as gang members and parolees even though most of them were seniors, disabled, military personnel, students and poor families who don't own cars.

Ironically the bus terminal used to be a favorite recruitment spot for Tom Metzger and his White Aryan Resistance organization which is based in Fallbrook. He and his associates used to go there on Sunday mornings to hand out racist literature to people. Just down the street as commercially developed Market Street transforms into tree-lined Magnolia, a Chinese-American family was forced to give up their dream and a small market that had stood on the corner of Bandini since World War II was knocked down, primarily because the predominantly White residents of that neighborhood didn't like the predominantly Black residents of several apartment complexes walking down their streets to go to the market.

The people who met in downtown like the people who met in Casa Blanca were trying to defuse the message that was sent by the Nazis and both sides declared their own rallies a success. But what happens the day after?

That's the question that needs to be answered next.

Did Riverside County District Attorney Rod Pacheco retaliate against one of his prosecutors?

"Eileen, people make choices everyday-yesterday, today, tomorrow- and there are consequences for your choices. So remember that,there are consequences for your choices. I hope you make the right choice."

---District Attorney Rod Pacheco to Eileen Hunt when she declined to endorse him for the elected position, according to a lawsuits she filed against him.

"Come on. You can figure it out. Rod told me to set you up so he could get rid of you."

--Former Asst. District Attorney Randall Tagami to Hunt when she asked why her previously excellent performance evaluations weren't so excellent after she declined to endorse Pacheco for office, according to her lawsuit.

"It takes a good prosecutor to convict a guilty man. It takes a great prosecutor to convict an innocent one."

---A much quoted comment that Rod Pacheco allegedly made while delivering a speech during his service in the state assembly. He was appointed as minority leader but was soon removed by members of his own party from that position.

"He's one of us."

--Pacheco about a prosecutor he wanted promoted (amid great resistence) who had lied to supervisors, allegedly violated Brady on a felony case and engaged in sexual harassment.

The recent lawsuit filed by former prosecutor Eileen Hunt alleging that she was among other things retaliated against by her boss, D.A. Rod Pacheco for not endorsing his run for office in 2006 is very interesting reading. She sued him for violating her civil rights, for violating labor codes and for gender discrimination as the once highest ranking female prosecutor in her division was ultimately forced out of her job, according to her complaint filed in Riverside County Superior Court.

Hunt was a very well-known prosecutor who worked extensively on child abuse cases and won awards including one for Felony Prosecutor of the Year. She was promoted to higher positions and given more responsibilities as she built a reputation for herself within the office and within the county.

Apparently that all ended when she declined to endorse Pacheco for the top spot while he was still an assistant district attorney contemplating a run for office in the 2006 election.

The lawsuit makes some serious allegations and mentions a case where she had gone to Pacheco on the disclosure of information to the defense under Brady. In one case, she tried to get Pacheco's authorization to do that in a case where an investigator lied about interviewing a witness in one case. Pacheco said, he didn't believe that was a Brady issue. She pressed him to do that and soon enough, other concerns began to be raised over the same investigator. For what? Lying about interviewing witnesses she had never interviewed.

The concern she had raised onto why this information needed to be disclosed in a number of cases to defense counsel was because one of the department's investigators was under investigation by the FBI and the United States Attorney's office.

Soon after she pushed Pacheco on this issue, she found herself reassigned to the department's Indio office, which is the equivalent of being exiled by the powers that be within the D.A.'s office. Hunt felt this reassignment was an attempt to force her to resign because Pacheco knew it would subject her to a daily five-hour commute to and from her job. She finally agreed and bought a house and had her relocation expenses paid for by Riverside which is required by an MOU between her union and the county.

Soon after, Pacheco informed her he was transferring her back to Riverside. Pacheco was also elected D.A. replacing Grover Trask and the investigator that caused all the controversy was gone. However, Pacheco still insisted that the issue surrounding that investigator's conduct was not a Brady issue. Her evaluations from her supervisor, Sue Steding began to be less glowing and Pacheco met with his upper level staff telling them that they needed to keep information under wraps from media outlets doing coverage on the disgraced investigator who had been investigated for criminal behavior by several federal agencies.

Hunt wound up moving three times in 20 months and faced a three-hour commute to work when she was relocated to Riverside. No D.A.'s office employee had ever been moved around so much in different assignments.

Then another complaint emerged about how a "junior" prosecutor had lied to his supervisor and to Hunt about how he handled a felony child homicide case by reducing it to a misdemeanor without authorization by his supervisor, as required by departmental policies. The prosecutor claimed instead the judge reduced the charge. An investigation substained a detective's allegation that the prosecutor had indeed lied. That didn't seem to matter much to the upper management including Pacheco.

In January 2008, the lying prosecutor, his direct supervisor Hughes and Pacheco made a video where they spoofed Batman and Robin and then sent it out to all the employees through email. The case of child homicide was later dropped because the office didn't feel they could get a conviction while it was at the misdemeanor level.

Hughes then said that she couldn't do anything with the prosecutor found to have lied because it wasn't her jurisdiction even though Hunt was Chief Deputy of the division. She was also forced to reduce the evaluation of an employee in her division from "exceeds expectations" to "meets expectations" or face a charge of insubordination.

Later, she told Hughes she obviously wasn't wanted to serve in management because she hadn't endorsed Pacheco and he told her she needed to "get on the bus". She then started receiving chastizing notices including that she wasn't meeting work hours and she had to do that or face discipline. She said she was being discriminated against because she was a woman because there were male prosecutors who didn't work their full hours with shorter commutes than she had to make on a daily basis.

She then felt pressured to quit her job, but didn't want to because she had spent 19 years working as a prosecutor in the D.A.'s office and things only began to go sour after she refused to endorse Pacheco for election. She told them just to terminate her without cause because she refused to quit.

After that, she received written discipline for dismissing the misdemeanor case that had reduced by the prosecutor who later lied about it. She said that the policy manual had upheld her dismissel of the case and that she had been entitled to an independent investigation from the Human Resources Department and that procedure hadn't been followed. The hours she spent working became monitored even as the male prosecutors didn't face such treatment.

Does Lying to Supervisors (and engaging in sexual harassment) Win You Promotions in the D.A.'s office?

She had difficulty getting promoted but ironically (or not) the prosecutor who had been found to have lied on several cases of felonies getting reduced to misdemeanors and had violated Brady on a felony case was up for promotion too. Nobody really wanted him to get promoted and in fact, those involved in the process voted 28 to 2 recommending that Pacheco not promote him.

However, one person did want this promotion to get through and that was the person encharged to make the final decision. Rod Pacheco allegedly convened an emergency meeting of his managers and demanded to know why this prosecutor wasn't promoted, calling him a "great deputy". Even when information came up that this prosecutor had not lied, had not just withheld evidence violating Brady on a felony case but had sexually harassed other employees, what was Pacheco's response?

"He's one of us."

Pacheco later took this prosecutor on a walk and told him how much he had reminded Pacheco of himself and that he would get his promotion. And sure enough he did, on Jan. 1, 2009.

At that point, Hunt gave up and on March 24, 2009, she tendered her resignation after nearly 20 years as a prosecutor in Riverside County. She filed a claim by the county but it was rejected and she received a right to sue letter from the Department of Fair Employment and Housing.

It will be interesting to see how this case proceeds in the very stagnated civil court system in Riverside County. Will it be settled by the county behind closed doors or will it proceed to trial? It's probably a good bet that it will be the former as if there's any dirty laundry to be aired out in Pacheco's office, there's no way the county will let that happen in an open forum like a courtroom.

Two more red light cameras in Riverside's intersections. The new ones will be at Arlington and Indiana and Canyon Springs Parkway and Day Street.

Snapshots of a City

[The railroad crossing at Magnolia near Merrill which is set to have ground breaking on a long-awaited grade separation project. In the background is a vacant lot which once was the home of several vibrant city businesses forced to relocate their operations.]

[One of Riverside's lessor known historical landmarks, the Sire's restaurant was oft-rumored to be the unofficial meeting place of city council members who allegedly conducted a lot of business deals and other civic work there.]

Candidates debate at a Public Forum in Norco

Norco's city council race heated up when candidates disagreed about how to generate local revenue.

(excerpt, Press Enterprise)

Candidates' ideas on how to accomplish that varied as they spoke to an estimated 100 people at the forum at Sizzler restaurant in Norco.

Sullivan supported bringing large chain stores to the city, but Bash supported preserving small businesses. All candidates agreed on selling Norco as a destination spot, developing several areas of land to hold events spanning several days to attract visitors and boost hotel tax and business for restaurants.

MacGregor and others suggested developing projects such as Silverlakes -- a 122-acre planned equestrian and sports park that should begin construction this year while Bash pushed hard on the idea of selling Norco's unique rural lifestyle and capturing business from students at the Riverside Community College Norco campus. Bash also suggested buying land from the U.S. Navy to develop. Voters also asked candidates whether they supported building low-income housing next to animal-keeping properties.

"I will never vote to allow one as long as I'm on the council," said Sullivan about apartment complexes. "We're a unique animal-keeping community. ... We don't want any apartments.

The governor up in Sacramento has vowed not to close any state parks. Hopefully, this would include Riverside's Citrus Park which was looking at possible closure due to budget cuts up at the capitol.

No city council meeting next week in Riverside as it's a fifth Tuesday.

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