Neo Nazis In The Hood – Trenton NJ Black Panther Party Press Conference
Trenton’s New Black Panther Party on Thursday denounced a neo-Nazi rally set for tomorrow at the Statehouse, across from New Jersey’s World War II Memorial, and urged community members to join them in a counterprotest.
Speaking at the city’s Veterans Memorial on South Broad Street, Panther youth minister and former city council candidate Divine Allah criticized plans for a demonstration by up to 150 members of the National Socialist Movement, or NSM.
“It’s not about violence, it’s not about fighting fire with fire,” he said. “It’s about standing up and not letting this pass by.”
His feelings were echoed by state Senate Republicans who said they will introduce legislation honoring the 30,000 service members from the state who were killed fighting fascism in World War II.
“New Jersey’s World War II Memorial was dedicated in 2008 to honor the sacrifices of those who fought fascism overseas to preserve our freedoms at home,” said Sen. Sean Kean, R-Monmouth.
“Their memory is being desecrated by a fringe group of morally repugnant individuals who are exploiting the very constitutional rights for which those service members fought and died,” he said.
Critics of Saturday’s rally said the neo-Nazis had the right to demonstrate, but said the NSM was not welcome in the city.
“We say death to white supremacy,” Allah said at the gathering Thursday. “That’s why we’re going to be out there on Saturday.”
A militant group, the Jewish Defense Organization, has also said it is trying to disrupt the NSM event, but the chance of a confrontation appears unlikely. New Jersey State Police will be conducting security at the gathering and are expected to turn out in force.
Allah chastised members of the black community such as city ministers who, he said, criticize local residents for perceived misdeeds but have not publicized their feelings about the rally.
“They’re quick to say, ‘These young boys are terrorizing the community,’” he said. “But this Saturday, these people are going to be terrorizing our community.”
Commenting on issues beyond the neo-Nazi event, Allah said a far greater problem is violence committed against black people by other blacks, which he said divides the community and prevents unity.
Feuding gang members committed a drive-by shooting at the June 2009 block party for Allah’s council candidacy and 13-year-old bystander Tamrah Leonard was killed.
“Where’s the drive-by going to be on Saturday? Not on West State Street,” Allah said, referring to the location of the NSM rally. “It’s going to be on Clinton Avenue, on Walnut.”
Among those attending Allah’s gathering was Rosalind White, whose son Aziz Darrian was murdered in October. Her organization, Mothers on a Mission, who will hold a peace parade April 30.
Allah’s group is separately planning a Day of Action downtown on April 23.