- The Washington Times - Sunday, May 12, 2002

Secret Service agents in riot gear and Metropolitan Police officers with batons yesterday separated a white supremacist organization from counterdemonstrators and the Israeli Embassy.
About 100 counterdemonstrators who included Palestinians and other Arabs, Jews, Latinos, blacks, other minorities and anarchist groups were largely outnumbered by about 240 protesters from the West Virginia-based National Alliance, organizers from both sides said.
"The problem is these guys [from the National Alliance] bring more and more people each time they come back," said a 31-year-old Baltimore man who identified himself as "Duke" from the North Eastern Federation of Anarcho Communists. He did not give his real name, fearing retaliation, he said.
Secret Service spokesman Mark Connolly said the two-hour protests ended without any arrests.
"It was a bunch of yelling and a bunch of cursing," said an officer from Special Operations of the Metropolitan Police Department. "We just escorted them back to their cars and they left."
National Alliance protesters, who primarily consisted of tall, slender men with shaved heads, tattoos, black T-shirts, black cuffed jeans and black boots, demonstrated on the south side of Van Ness Street NW. They extended around the corner onto International Drive, directly across the street from the Israeli Embassy.
"We are for white Americans," said Billy J. Roper Jr., the National Alliance's deputy membership coordinator. He said his group demonstrated because of their opposition to what he called "Israeli genocide in the Gaza Bank and the West Strip."
"A suicide bomber is obviously a very committed person," said Mr. Roper, who said he holds a masters degree and taught history in high school before "devoting my life to something more meaningful."
Many of his peers stood on the sidewalk, arms folded across their chests, and yelled curse words to the other side of the street where D.C. police stood to protect the counterdemonstrators. The protestors often unfolded their arms to raise their fists with extended middle fingers.
Some held placards stating: "Fight terrorism bomb Israel," "Nuke Israel" and "W.T.C. R.I.P. Israel knew." They occasionally raised their arms in a Nazi salute and shouted "Sieg Heil," to which counterprotesters replied, "Seek help."
The supremacists passed around an effigy of a Jewish man wearing a yarmulke, the word "Jude" on his forehead and a red rope tied around his neck.
"That's disguisting," said Rami Elamine, 31, a Lebanese Arab who helped organize the Committee in Solidarity with the Palestinian people. "They're just exploiting the issue for their own advantage. If they had the chance, they'd go after Arabs and Muslims."
Counterprotesters, who gathered on the northern side of Van Ness Street, chanted various slogans, including, "Nazis, you racist slime, put down the flag of Palestine."
Leah Harris, 26, of Arlington, said she was protesting as a Jewish woman opposed to Israel's occupation and out of concern for human rights.
"I resent the fact that the Nazis are trying to hijack the message to promote an anti-Semitic message of hate," Ms. Harris said.


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