Thursday, April 21, 2011

Neo-Nazi rally leads to brawl in Pemberton Borough, NJ

Neo-Nazi rally leads to brawl in Pemberton Borough
Published: Tuesday, April 19, 2011

southjerseylocalnews.com

PEMBERTON BOROUGH — What 25 or more members of a Neo-Nazi group apparently thought would be a quiet dinner here last Friday turned out to be anything but as a staunchly anti-Nazi group trailing them caught up to them at a club on Pemberton Rd. just after 7 p.m.

Inside the club, members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the largest neo-Nazi movement in the U.S., had just started to eat, when shouts from members of the Anti-Racist Association (ARA), rang out. The Neo-Nazis rushed out and a vicious brawl began.

Borough police rushed to the scene but were badly outnumbered and state police from the Red Lion and later, Bordentown barracks, responded.

There were no shots fired, but baseball bats, stones and bricks were used. When order had been restored, four of the NSM members were treated at Deborah Medical Center in Browns Mills and Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mt. Holly for minor injuries and released.

Two members of the ARA, Thomas Keenan, 25, of Somerset and Joseph Alcoff, 29, of Syracuse N.Y., were charged with resisting arrest.

A third arrest was reported, but could not be confirmed.

The NSM members, with heavy police escort, retreated to the Comfort Inn in Bordentown for the night.

The next morning, state police herded them into Department of Correction buses and drove them to Trenton, where they had a permit to demonstrate on State St., in front of the State House.

This demonstration was packed. There were about 100 NSM members, two to three times as many ARA members and supporters, including members of the New Black Panther Party, and a still larger number of state, Trenton and Capital police keeping the two sides apart.

NSM members, who bill themselves as American patriots, protested against illegal immigration, high taxes and crime. They carried signs and flags, some with the hated Nazi swastika superimposed on the Stars and Stripes. Continued...

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Many were dressed in full Nazi regalia: brown or black shirts, World War II-replica German Army caps, black boots, and red and black armbands with a swastika.

There were jeers, catcalls and some cursing, but no violence. However, after police escorted the NSM group back to their hotel, three arrests were made. One was for criminal mischief, after a window was broken, a second for failure to disperse and the last, for disorderly conduct for possession of fireworks.

Trenton residents were questioned after the demonstration. Many used words like “disgusting” or “abhorrent” in reacting to the NSM protest.

Later, a spokesman for the Jewish Defense Organization called for a boycott of the Comfort Inn, but a worker there claimed the NSM members made individual reservations and that no one at the motel knew that such a group was staying there.

A much larger-than-normal group of residents attended the borough council meeting Monday night, most to hear the 2011 municipal budget introduced. Although some had heard about last Friday’s fracas, many had not.

After the meeting, this writer was talking with Borough Police Chief Edward Hunter, getting an update on the brawl and other police issues when Mayor William Kocherspergerm joined us.

Commenting on World War II and the 50 to 60 million deaths that resulted, most directly related to the Nazis, I asked, “How could anyone still be attracted to such evil beliefs?” The Mayor added, “I asked my wife the same thing.”
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by Adam Tait III
southjerseylocalnews.com


PEMBERTON BOROUGH — What 25 or more members of a Neo-Nazi group apparently thought would be a quiet dinner here last Friday turned out to be anything but as a staunchly anti-Nazi group trailing them caught up to them at a club on Pemberton Rd. just after 7 p.m.

Inside the club, members of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the largest neo-Nazi movement in the U.S., had just started to eat, when shouts from members of the Anti-Racist Association (ARA), rang out. The Neo-Nazis rushed out and a vicious brawl began.

Borough police rushed to the scene but were badly outnumbered and state police from the Red Lion and later, Bordentown barracks, responded.

There were no shots fired, but baseball bats, stones and bricks were used. When order had been restored, four of the NSM members were treated at Deborah Medical Center in Browns Mills and Virtua Memorial Hospital in Mt. Holly for minor injuries and released.

Two members of the ARA, Thomas Keenan, 25, of Somerset and Joseph Alcoff, 29, of Syracuse N.Y., were charged with resisting arrest.

A third arrest was reported, but could not be confirmed.

The NSM members, with heavy police escort, retreated to the Comfort Inn in Bordentown for the night.

The next morning, state police herded them into Department of Correction buses and drove them to Trenton, where they had a permit to demonstrate on State St., in front of the State House.

This demonstration was packed. There were about 100 NSM members, two to three times as many ARA members and supporters, including members of the New Black Panther Party, and a still larger number of state, Trenton and Capital police keeping the two sides apart.

NSM members, who bill themselves as American patriots, protested against illegal immigration, high taxes and crime. They carried signs and flags, some with the hated Nazi swastika superimposed on the Stars and Stripes.

Many were dressed in full Nazi regalia: brown or black shirts, World War II-replica German Army caps, black boots, and red and black armbands with a swastika.

There were jeers, catcalls and some cursing, but no violence. However, after police escorted the NSM group back to their hotel, three arrests were made. One was for criminal mischief, after a window was broken, a second for failure to disperse and the last, for disorderly conduct for possession of fireworks.

Trenton residents were questioned after the demonstration. Many used words like “disgusting” or “abhorrent” in reacting to the NSM protest.

Later, a spokesman for the Jewish Defense Organization called for a boycott of the Comfort Inn, but a worker there claimed the NSM members made individual reservations and that no one at the motel knew that such a group was staying there.

A much larger-than-normal group of residents attended the borough council meeting Monday night, most to hear the 2011 municipal budget introduced. Although some had heard about last Friday’s fracas, many had not.

After the meeting, this writer was talking with Borough Police Chief Edward Hunter, getting an update on the brawl and other police issues when Mayor William Kocherspergerm joined us.

Commenting on World War II and the 50 to 60 million deaths that resulted, most directly related to the Nazis, I asked, “How could anyone still be attracted to such evil beliefs?” The Mayor added, “I asked my wife the same thing.”


SOURCE: http://www.southjerseylocalnews.com/articles/2011/04/19/community_news/news/doc4dada811105c5394929528.txt?viewmode=fullstory

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