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Right-wing rally planned for Laguna Beach sparks backlash, counter-demonstration against racism

A group of anti-KKK demonstrators gather on Main Beach on Sunday, the day after violence erupted in Charlottesville, Va.
(David Hansen)

A planned Sunday rally in Laguna Beach to draw attention to crimes committed by immigrants in the country illegally has sparked a counter-demonstration planned for Saturday.

Saturday’s rally, led by Indivisible OC 48, Indivisible OC 46 and Together We Will Orange County, begins at 10 a.m. at Main Beach and is called “From Charlottesville to Laguna Beach: We Stand Together,” according to a Facebook post.

“Heeding the call from the Movement for Black Lives for a national action and solidarity with Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday and in response to the encroachments of racists and white supremacists on Sunday into beautiful Laguna Beach as the bastion for diversity, liberty and equality, we’re holding a unity rally with Mayor Toni Iseman.

“Our message is loud and clear: Hate is not welcome here!”

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On Sunday, right-wing activists will hold a rally for what they say are victims who have died because of DUI accidents and gang-related crimes from people living illegally in the U.S. Organizers said the rally also will protest “cheap labor” from immigrants here illegally.

Such messages struck Lulu Hammad, one of the organizers for Saturday’s rally, as offensive.

“The notion that illegal [immigrants] and refugees are starting crimes in our society, as if they are bringing this crime and illegal activity, is not true,” Hammad said. “This has always been an open space for people to have equal rights.”

Alderton writes for Times Community News.

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bryce.alderton@latimes.com

Twitter: @AldertonBryce

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