August 19, 2009

The New Haven Independent has a complete report on the ugliness that emerged from last weekend's march by an immigrant-rights group marching in the suburb of East Haven, Conn.:

The clash happened during an event organized Saturday by New Haven immigrant advocacy organization Unidad Latina En Accion. More than 100 people marched through the streets of East Haven on Saturday, protesting alleged racial profiling on the part of East Haven police. They met groups of counter-protesters along the way, including a visiting band of white supremacists.

... Two arrests were made following a brief fistfight between a female marcher, Jessica Maldonado of East Haven, and Chelsea Fiorentino, an 18 year-old New Haven woman who was standing with a counter protest made up of members of two white pride organizations. Maldonado’s father, Dimas Maldonado, said that his family has suffered from police harassment. (Click on the play arrow to watch the fight and arrests.)

The argument allegedly started after Chelsea Fiorentino yelled an insult at Maldonado, who then crossed the street and confronted her. East Haven police quickly separated the women, placed them under arrest, and kept the march moving. The women were charged with breach of peace and assault; Maldonado was also charged with interfering with an officer.

It appears, from watching the video compiled by the Independent, that there were other near-brawls along the way. That's not terribly surprising: White supremacists and other haters turn out to these things in the hopes of starting fights, and they often succeed.

But watching this tape, one can't help but feel a sense of foreboding about what's likely to occur when immigration reform comes up on the national plate this fall. These people are already organized and already inclined to violence. If you thought the town-hall teabaggers went nuts over health-care reform, just wait.

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