Hatred Meets Anger: The Aryan Nation vs Protesters

Yesterday was a gorgeous Fall day here in DC.  As I came home from having breakfast with a friend in Arlington, I encountered blocked traffic on 8th St SE, as it was closed off for one of the many Fall festivals DC and cities around the country celebrate.  Finally making my way closer to home, I saw Metro Police everywhere.  I parked on East Capitol Street, just half a block from my building.  When I asked one officer what was going on, he said there was a march shortly.  “Who’s marching?” I asked.  “The Aryan Nation.”

Police in cars, on bikes, on foot, and on horseback were everywhere.  Here are some photos of what happened when the small group of Aryan Nation marchers — I counted less than 10 — were met by a much larger group of protesters who blocked the march at several points along the way.  It was an experience of contrasts.  The positions of the Aryan National are certainly reprehensible.  But the counter protesters, with shouts of “Death to the Nazis…” were equally disturbing.  While there was no violence (at least none I saw), it’s hard to describe this sort of event as “peaceful.”