Those planning to participate in a counter-demonstration protesting a previously organized rally tied to white nationalists should expect to find a sizable police presence at Bluff Park Sunday.
“Although it is unclear how many people will participate in this event, the LBPD will be heavily deployed in the area and prepared to respond as necessary to ensure the safety of the public, including those involved in any free speech activity,” Long Beach Police Department spokeswoman Shaunna Dandoy told the Long Beach Post yesterday.
The counter-demonstration was planned after news spread that a small group of people could be holding a white-nationalist rally in the park. A since-deleted Facebook post described the original rally as a free-speech demonstration titled “Freedom’s Safest Place,” but activists were quick to point out the group’s ties to white-nationalists.
It’s unclear if that original event is still on. In the past, some dueling rallies between white-nationalists and counter-protestors have turned violent, such as in Charlottesville in 2017 where a counter-protestor was killed.
Dandoy said while police are committed to ensuring a person’s right to lawful assembly and to free speech, they “will not tolerate acts of violence” in the community and will arrest anyone “involved in criminal behavior.”
Police urged anyone who sees suspicious activity to call 562-435-6711.
The Long Beach counter rally will take place at 10 a.m. on Sunday, April 28 at Bluff Park, located on Ocean Boulevard between 20th and 36th places.