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Arlington neighbors stunned by Nazi ceremony

Arlington neighbors stunned by Nazi ceremony gather to reject hate (Photo Courtesy of Matt Garcia) 

Dozens of protesters came out to an Arlington shopping center Friday night to condemn a Nazi ceremony held there earlier in the day.

“I can’t say that I’ve felt rage much in the last 10 years, but I felt rage today,” said protest organizer Justin Greene.

Greene and others were shocked to see a picture in which a group of five men and one woman standing next to a wreath give Nazi salutes as one member holds a Nazi flag.

The group had gathered around noon Friday to mark the 50th anniversary of the assassination of American Nazi Party founder George Lincoln Rockwell. Rockwell was shot and killed by a disgruntled fellow Nazi at the Dominion Hills Shopping Center on August 25, 1967.

“I was shocked and surprised. Definitely it was disturbing see,” said Matt Garcia, who was in a nearby barber shop with his young son and witnessed the ceremony.

“First thing I noticed was the Nazi flag,” Garcia said. “After a minute or two I saw them doing the salute. That’s when I said, ‘You know what? Let me just take a picture of this just so I have it documented what’s going on.’”

Garcia, who now lives in New York, says he grew up in the Dominion Hills neighborhood and had never seen anything like that before.

Seeing Garcia’s picture of Nazis openly holding a ceremony in their neighborhood is what many at Friday night’s protest say drove them to come out.

“I can’t believe we even have to contemplate this stuff. I mean this is just pathetic,” one clearly angry man told the crowd.

Residents say they had just a few hours to organize the protest and many neighbors were away on vacation. They think it sent a message that there were still about ten times as many people at their protest as there were people at the Nazi ceremony.

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