CBS2 reports that about 200 people marched against illegal immigration on Hollywood Blvd. Saturday evening in a protest organized by the Minutemen Project. One officer was hurt, and a number of counter demonstrators were arrested.
The online video also shows the counter-demonstrators clashing with police – I believe that, had the counter-demonstrators not caused a stir, CBS2 probably wouldn’t have covered an otherwise dull protest, and the general public wouldn’t have noticed.
MySpace blogger Cathy provides an account of how police reacted when the counter protestors tried to join the march:
I watched as these people did nothing, I mean they were cheering and waiving made signs just as the other group, when as soon as they stepped foot on the street a swarm of swat teams came charging at them. They didn’t even hesitate, I heard nothing from them like “stop” or “get back”. No warning, no hesitation. They circled the group and just started throwing people down. The group began running, some back down Wilcox, some past me down Hollywood. They were screaming. These fucking assholes just kept chasing them, multiple officers after each individual. The demonstrators were not aggressive, they were running away- and still I saw swat grabbing any one they could catch and throwing them to the ground, then circling over them for what looked to me like a show brutal authority. (read the whole post with pics here, log in required)
Having attended a number of demonstations, I’ve seen police demonstrate an amazing amount of restraint, so I’d give the police the benefit of the doubt here – I’d venture to guess that more preceded the above incident that caused police to react so dilligently. Then again, I don’t trust protestors who choose to wear masks to begin with, as shown on the video.
(photo from mirimiaus via Flickr… not actually taken in Hollywood… irony, people)