Neo-Nazis, anti-racism groups face off in Mpls.

Midtown YWCA anti-racism rally
Hundreds of people rallied in South Minneapolis early Saturday to protest the appearance of a neo-Nazi group outside the Midtown YWCA. The white supremacist group was there to protest a private anti-racism workshop inside the YWCA.
MPR Photo/Jess Mador

About two hundred people gathered outside the YWCA in South Minneapolis early Saturday to protest the appearance of a neo-Nazi group.

Four members of the Twin Cities unit of a Detriot-based group called the National Socialist Movement came to protest an anti-racist workshop taking place inside the community center. In response, anti-racism community groups organized a counter-demonstration. No injuries or arrests were reported.

Dan Gannon helped organize the rally against the neo-Nazis. He says South Minneapolis residents held their ground against the white supremacists.

"We were on one side of the street chanting 'no Nazis, no KKK, no racists, USA, you are not welcome here' and they were on the other side with the police in between," he said. "They were decked head to toe in black pants, black shirts and they had patches on their jackets that were neo-Nazi swastika patches."

Gannon said his organization's message was that his community is unified.

"We stood together against a message of hate, against a violent message of white supremacy and neo-Nazi politics that is not welcome in this neighborhood," he said.

A spokesman for the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement says his group came to Minneapolis to show that white people have the right to feel proud of their heritage and culture.

No injuries or arrests were reported.

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