An April 11 “White Lives Matter” rally in Huntington Beach fizzled out as hundreds of counter protesters confronted a smaller number of white supremacists, Proud Boys and Trump supporters who had come to show support for an assortment of right wing extremist positions. The event was meant to coincide with rallies nationwide. Numerous small scuffles broke out between attendees. Huntington Beach, a city with a history of neo-Nazi and white supremacist activity, has had previous gatherings of right wing groups turn violent.
Over the day, 12 arrests were made. Police from Huntington Beach, Seal Beach and Anaheim, along with Orange County sheriff’s deputies, SWAT units and mounted horse units attempted to keep violence to a minimum as small fights broke out in the commercial blocks around the pier and Main Street.
Just after 2:30 p.m. the Huntington Beach Police Dept. declared the gathering an unlawful assembly, and alerts were sent to people’s cellphones threatening arrest of those who did not disperse. On Main Street bar patrons watched the brawling from second floor restaurants and on the street.
Activist Najee Ali speaks to counter protesters gathered at a “White Lives Matter” rally in Huntington Beach.
Media crowds around a man with a skull and crossbones tattoo that resembles a Totenkopf while he speaks with Black Lives Matter Huntington Beach founder Tory Johnson. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the Totenkopf is “a symbol used by Hitler's SS that has been adopted by neo-Nazis and white supremacists since World War II.” The bearer claimed it was a military tattoo and was not a racist symbol.
A man who got into verbal altercations with counter protesters leaves the crowd while flipping off cameras.
A man wearing an “It’s ok to be white” shirt poses for a photo during a counter protest to a planned “White Lives Matter” rally in Huntington Beach.
David Malana holds a surfboard with a “Filipinx for Black Lives” message. Malana’s organization “Color The Water” gives free surf lessons to people of color.
A man is detained by Huntington Beach police during a scuffle over a Trump supporter’s flags.
A Trump supporter wrestles with counter demonstrators.
A police horse calmly observes the passing scene.
Two men debate opposing viewpoints at the “White Lives Matter” rally in Huntington Beach.
Police officers escort a rally supporter away from counter demonstrators after a scuffle.
A man wearing a Proud Boys shirt faces members of media while a Huntington Beach Police Dept. SWAT team looks on.
A Trump supporter surveys a counter protest.
Huntington Beach police officers in a scrimmage line on Main Street as bar patrons watch from behind.
Joe Cook-Giles shows affection while counter protesting.
A counter demonstrator holds a skateboard with anti-cop “F12” and “ACAB” messages drawn on in response to the “White Lives Matter” rally in Huntington Beach.
Huntington Beach rolls on.
A Huntington Beach SWAT officer stands in a scrimmage line on Main Street while bar patrons sip from behind.
All Photographs by Brian Feinzimer
Copyright Capital & Main 2021