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Friday, December 02, 2005

US anti-Semitism Watch

Here's another incident. Doubt anyone else will mention it on the blogosphere.

A group of white supremacists, headed by talk show host Hal Turner, held a rally on Broadway Street in Kingston, between the High School and City Hall on Saturday, Nov. 19, following an alleged hate crime at Kingston High school.

Almost two weeks prior to the rally, 14-year-old Robbie Hedrick, who is white, had an altercation with a black student, 16-year-old Joseph Williams. Upon hearing of the incident, Turner organized this protest, demanding that Kingston police charge the 16-year-old with a hate crime.

Approximately 100 protestors holding signs with racist slogans, such as “Stop black crimes,” “Blacks are terrorizing your kids” and “White power,” showed up at the rally and were met by approximately 300 counter-protestors, according to Kingston Chief of Police Gerald Keller.

Police officers from Kingston, Albany, New Paltz and Rockland and Ulster counties were present, along with the Environmental Protection Agency, New York State Troopers and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Due to the presence of about 200 officers in full riot gear, the rally remained nonviolent. There were no injuries or arrests reported, according to Kingston District Attorney Donald Williams.
Turner and another speaker at the protest, Paul Geller, spoke to the protestors about issues regarding the “selective enforcement” of hate crime laws.

“Aren’t white people victims of hate crimes?” asked Geller, suggesting that only white people are prosecuted for committing hate crimes and that is selective prosecution. Turner agreed, saying “black hate crimes are considered exceptions to the rule. [Law enforcement officials] cover it up and sweep it under the rug.”

In response to Turner’s remark, Williams said, “We’re not trying to sweep it under the rug. We dealt with it in a responsible way and let the justice system work.”

He added, “What [Turner] says is irrelevant to justice. He has no influence on what we do here.”

National Socialist Attorney Mona Montgomery, another speaker at the rally, vehemently yelled to her supporters, “There were no gas chambers,” after which a young man with a swastika armband screamed “Deport the Jews!”

Montgomery went on to say, “Jews are here to experiment on the American whites. They’re here to convince us that six million Jews were exterminated. It didn’t happen.”

Williams said that the protestors had a “complete ignorance of lessons of history.”

Counter-protestors shouted loudly over the speakers and held signs, such as “Say names, not color. We are all God’s children,” promoting peace and equality.

Leonard Walker, the third district ward city councilman of Kingston, said he disagreed with the protestors’ agenda.

“I know [the protestors] don’t have a legit reason to be here other than to take advantage of the situation,” he said. “[Turner] is trying to divide the community. He’s a racist and has no love.”

Turner said that Kingston has a racial problem. Walker disagreed. “Kingston has no racial problem,” he said. “There is no hate crime trend.”
Kingston Mayor James Sottile agreed with Walker.

“[The protestors’] message didn’t work,” he said. “Kingston is blazing the trail on equality and diversity.”

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