Police vigilant as Nazis arrive

CAVE CREEK – Law enforcement will be extra vigilant starting today, when a band of Nazis arrives in town for a rally and possible recruitment mission.

Members of the Aryan Nations will convene at Cave Creek Recreation Area this afternoon. The White supremacist group is expected to speak out about illegal immigration and to camp out in Cave Creek until Sunday.

Capt. Ray Harkey, a spokesman for the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office, said it’s unclear how many Aryan Nations members will attend.

The group is expected to arrive at the campgrounds at 37019 N. Lava Lane around 3 p.m. The Sheriff’s Office also expects a “big rally” to take place Saturday. No counter-protests are expected.

“If they go in there and mind their business, we’re going to leave them alone,” Harkey said, adding that the Sheriff’s Office will have additional patrol officers nearby, along with K-9 units.

Joel Breshin, Arizona associate director of the Anti-Defamation League, said the organization does not plan to protest the presence of the Idaho-based group. Breshin said his group wasn’t aware of any planned protests by other organizations.

“We don’t normally stage counter-rallies or counter-protests,” he said. “That would help them get more publicity.”

Aryan Nations members have been passing out anti-Hispanic propaganda fliers throughout the Valley since the spring, espousing the belief that Mexican immigrants are lesser than Caucasians, Breshin said.

“They’re against immigration, period,” Breshin said. “They don’t want people of color coming across the border, legal or not.”

Bob Eberhardt, president of the Cave Creek chapter of the Hells Angels, said he hadn’t heard about the rally. The motorcycle group held a birthday party for famed founder Sonny Barger last month in Cave Creek.

The Sheriff’s Office was prepared for the Hells Angels, but there was no violence.

Eberhardt said he hadn’t seen any Nazis around town. He added that the national biker club has Latino and Jewish members, and that it doesn’t agree with Aryan Nations philosophy.

“If we see them in one of our bars, we might run into them,” Eberhardt said.

Aryan Nations founder and director Richard Butler will attend. Butler recently made an unsuccessful bid for mayor of Hayden Lake, Idaho.

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(Listed if other than Religion News Blog, or if not shown above)
The Arizona Republic, USA
Nov. 7, 2003
Michael Ferraresi

Religion News Blog posted this on Saturday November 8, 2003.
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