After a person raised a flag adorned with a swastika outdoors his Fruita dwelling final week, a bunch of protesters rallied in opposition to the image related to Nazism and white supremacy Sunday.
The protest was organized by local people members and assisted by the Grand Junction department of Black Lives Matter, mentioned Jon Williams, the chapter’s co-founder.
“I wished to guarantee that they knew that Nazis usually are not welcome on the Western Slope,” Williams mentioned.
The protesters gathered in Reed Park in Fruita and marched to the house round 4:30 p.m., Williams mentioned. Attributable to neighborhood rules, the group needed to keep cell whereas on the sidewalk, however a girl invited them on to her garden, which was straight throughout the road from the swastika and Accomplice flag-bearing dwelling.
Six Fruita cops lined the road, separating the protesters from a small group of males within the entrance garden of the house with the flags. The lads have been carrying firearms and taunted the group, calling them “ignorant,” Williams mentioned.
The protesters carried indicators that learn “Black Lives Matter” and chanted, “no Nazis, no KKK, no fascist USA,” in accordance with a Fb Reside video posted of the occasion.
The video doesn’t present the group in its entirety, making it tough to estimate the scale. Nick Peck, a lieutenant with the Fruita Police Division, estimated round 50 folks attended the protest.
“Either side have been very cooperative and simple to work with,” Peck mentioned. He added that there have been no accidents or arrests made through the protest and all the pieces went easily.
The flag was first noticed on Election Day to the shock of many within the neighborhood. The home sits a block away from an elementary college on North Mesa Avenue.
Rob Norris had simply picked up his daughter from college when he noticed the red-and-white flag emblazoned with a swastika.
“I actually stopped useless on the street,” he advised The Denver Submit on Thursday.
Flying flags is constitutionally protected as free speech and the Fruita Police Division couldn’t take any motion in opposition to the person, police mentioned. The person advised native tv information stations on Tuesday he didn’t intent to take it down.
On Sunday, a buddy of the home-owner approached the protesters and provided to take the flag with the swastika down if it meant the protest would cease. Whereas the Nazi flag was taken down, the Accomplice flag remained, Williams mentioned.
“I don’t think about it a victory,” Williams mentioned after the protest.
Williams was disillusioned that some left the protest after the swastika flag was taken down, although he and some others remained after darkish to proceed protesting the Accomplice flag.
“This one facet of hatred was taken down however this different appears acceptable,” he mentioned.
This incident comes close to the 80th anniversary of Kristallnacht and as hate imagery and symbols are on the rise throughout Colorado. Swastikas, anti-Semitic graffiti and different white nationalist symbols have been noticed from mountain cities to Colorado campuses.
The Anti-Defamation League has documented at the least 17 instances when swastikas have been drawn on Colorado property since 2016. The group has additionally documented 50 instances the place white supremacists have posted propaganda within the Entrance Vary as of September. In 2017, the group counted 22, and in 2016, it counted three
The development isn’t remoted to Colorado.