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‘Rally Against Hate’ marches through San Diego

Similar actions have taken place nationwide in response to violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Protesters+march+from+Balboa+Park+to+Horton+Plaza+as+part+of+a+%22Rally+Against+Hate.%22
Protesters march from Balboa Park to Horton Plaza as part of a

Protesters march from Balboa Park to Horton Plaza as part of a "Rally Against Hate."

Gustavo Cristobal

Gustavo Cristobal

Protesters march from Balboa Park to Horton Plaza as part of a "Rally Against Hate."

by Gustavo Cristobal, Contributor

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Several hundred protesters, including San Diego State professors and students, marched from Balboa Park to downtown San Diego as part of a “Rally Against Hate” Sunday afternoon.

Over 1,000 Facebook users said they went to the event, which began at the Museum of Man in Balboa Park before marchers headed downtown.

Ozzie Monge, an American Indian Studies Professor at SDSU, was one of the first speakers at the rally.

“I’m honored and humbled to be invited to speak to you and to kick this event off because it’s very important that we stand up to this pernicious form of hatred and racism,” Monge said.

Many things found in modern-day California are symbols of white supremacy, he said.

“A lot of people don’t recognize them because they’ve been normalized through education,” he said. “(The) missions are places where indigenous cultures were being destroyed.”

As the protest began to get underway, chants such as “This is what democracy looks like!” and “No Trump, no KKK, no fascist USA” could be heard over tunes played by the Radical Marching Band.

Aaron Gragg, a San Diego resident and a tuba player for the band, said his organization was there to “bring a positive vibe” to the rally.

“When people have a beat to chant to and to march to, it’s really energizing and I love to being able to provide that for people,” Gragg said.

Protesters leave Balboa Park with SDPD escort. Photo by Andrew Dyer.

Police were seen monitoring the crowd, and traffic was temporarily shut down as they escorted marchers down city streets.

“We’re here to say no to Trump, no to fascism, no to racism and to stand up for our communities because it’s important that people not take the message from what’s going on,” said Bo Elder, an SDSU graduate student who helped organize the march. “I think that coming out to events is a great, commendable and irreplaceable first step that everybody takes. Times really require us to put some other parts of our lives on hold and step up and and dedicating ourselves to organizing our communities”

Elder said in his view, it’s obvious that the views and actions displayed at the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia — where counter-protestor Heather Heyer, 32, was killed — are not indicative of the nation at large.

“It’s important for people to see their neighbors come out and oppose it — to know that in fact those fascists and racists do not have the support of many of their friends, coworkers and family members,” he said.

Cameron George, a UC Riverside student, agreed with this sentiment. George said he hadn’t heard about the rally until a few days before, but decided to attend to show his support.

“The people here [are] walking for what they believe,” he said. “Although I am one person, it adds up. My little brother is a person, everyone is a person and if we get together, we can make a difference. I want to feel better by being in this and to [believe] that people are good and aren’t all bad.”

There were few counter-protesters to be seen, unlike in Berkeley, California, where left and right clashed violently over the weekend. One man, though, who held up a sign saying, “People once tried to silence MLK as hate speech,” made an appearance before members of the main rally showed up to stonewall him, following him and blocking his signs with their own.

The self-described “free speech” protester, San Diego resident Edward Morfeld, said what he was frightened by a rally that he perceived as hostile to outside ideas.

“I’m not a Nazi. I’m not even a Trump supporter,” Morfeld said. “I do think that there’s a lot of one-sidedness. I do think that saying anyone who disagrees with this is somehow a Nazi, is a lot like saying anyone who believes in Black Lives Matter likes to go out and grab people out of their car and beat them up.”

Edward Morfeld, of San Diego, struggles to be heard as other protesters swarm and block his sign. Photo by Andrew Dyer.

Morfeld said in fact, he agrees with much of the rally-goers’ beliefs.

“I’m very disappointed to see how we treat Hispanics in this country,” he said. “I’m very bothered by what’s happening with the environment.”

But there was plenty he disagreed with, too.

“I’m sure this can make me classified — if you want, really badly — to say I’m a white supremacist, it did bother me that there was nothing in there when they said we want to have no hate for Muslims, black people, Hispanics, (but) they didn’t say whites,” Morfeld said.

Though protesters did their best to block Morfeld’s signs from view, there was no attempt at physical harm.

Edward Morfeld is followed by other protesters who disagree with his message. Photo by Andrew Dyer.

In the rally’s Facebook event page, organizers stated they did not endorse violence.

“We understand that we are operating in public space and therefore people outside of our group are freely allowed to express their opinions about our event,” the statement said. “We have people involved whose purpose is to keep the members of the rally as safe as possible and serve as street medics if necessary, but we will not cede our legal right to defend ourselves if we are in imminent physical danger. Inciting violence is not the intent of our rally.”

There were no arrests related to the protest, according to the San Diego Police Department.

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5 Comments

5 Responses to “‘Rally Against Hate’ marches through San Diego”

  1. Ted W Bishop on August 30th, 2017 12:03 pm

    Sounds good, except are people in the name of equality, opposing or stereotyping incorrectly. Fascism extreme position of opposing everyone having the opportunity of better life is wrong. Universities should be empowering those in that struggle. That should apply without regard to other issues.

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  2. Frank Davis on August 31st, 2017 7:13 am

    Isn’t Ozzie Monges 15 minutes up yet? How ironic, leaders of the anti hate protest spewing hate about Trump. Pathetic.

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  3. Edward Morfeld on August 31st, 2017 10:59 pm

    One of the biggest problems with that rally is that it helped Trump rather than hurt him.
    A majority of white women and a very large minority of Hispanics voted for Trump in spite of some truly horrible things he said about both groups. It’s obviously not because they all hate Hispanics and want to see women stripped of their rights.
    I think a lot of the reason why they voted for Trump was a back lash against violence in the “black lives matter movement”.
    By affiliating with antifa even after antifa instigated very clear acts of violence and force in order not only to express themselves, but to shut down the exercise of other people’s free speech, they make many people reasonably afraid of their totalitarian approach to “love”.
    something similar can be said about chants like “come to our town well burn it down” or speeches celebrating the destruction of the right to assembly in other cities, or the refusal to substitute the chant “all lives matter” with its implication that anyone hurt or attacked during the black lives matter riots simply for being the wrong race in the wrong place had it coming because they were the wrong race. even introducing statements about the intent to defend themselves when there were absolutely zero threats against them in a city known for its lack of violence and race consciousness on all sides made it clear the THEY were the ones introducing the concept of violence no matter how “inoccuously”.
    It should be obvious that nothing hurts conservatives more than white thugs toating guns for “selfdefence” or otherwise at a political rally, and it you.should learn from their mistakes.
    the.truth is, the same country that voted for obama when he was conciliatory and reached out to Joe Biden voted for trump when he did not. next time welcome deviant opinions, converse with them, or they will stop go to the voting. polls all the more resentful of you. You might even.find, God forbid, that make some good points too if you have the backbone to open mindedly question your beliefs rather than celebrate the lack of interaction.

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  4. edward morfeld on September 1st, 2017 12:56 pm

    I owe an apology for the last comment I made, I think I falsely accused the marchers of saying “come to our town we’ll burn it down” when they actually said the relatively reasonable “being hate to our town we’ll burn it down. I should have re-read what I wrote before sending it. but the general premise that combating violence with unnecassarily violent imagery hurts instead of helps your cause at the ballot box as well as hurts democracy by polarizing rather than engaging different views in a search for common ground holds true.

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  5. edward morfeld on September 1st, 2017 1:07 pm

    and the general premise that you will set fire to things because you don’t like what people say and are to intellectually lazy and emotionally weak to respond with words is very much an attack on the bill of rights and democracy in general. The reason I had a sign saying that MLK was accused of hate speech is to remind you that if you succeed censoring what you don’t like you ultimately don’t even know anymore what you are censoring. You chanted “this is what Democracy looks like” and I was happy to chant with you so long as you let me walk with you holding up a second sign that read “one person’s hate speech may be another person’s liberation soeech”. But when you tried to prevent other members of the public from seeing a third sign I held that read “no freedom of speech =no democracy, you proved my point that totalitarianism is scary and thuggish in Left wing forms like North Korea or Lol Pots genocidal Cambodia as well as the third Reich, or Idi Ameins Uganda.

    [Reply]

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