South Plainfield community concerned after hate group crashes Labor Day parade

Darla Miles Image
Tuesday, September 6, 2022
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The South Plainfield Labor Day Parade made its comeback Monday after four years, but attracted a small group of known white supremacists. Darla Miles has more.

SOUTH PLAINFIELD, New Jersey (WABC) -- A Labor Day parade in New Jersey had some unwanted visitors, a small group of known white supremacists, who attempted to crash the celebration.

The South Plainfield Labor Day Parade made its triumphant comeback Monday after four years.

Considered the largest of its kind in the state, the celebration attracted the New Jersey European Heritage Organization, classified by the Anti-Defamation League as a hate group.

"We have to let groups like that know they're not welcome here," said Daryle Lamont Jenkins, Executive Director of One People's Project.

They were unwelcome, but they were there. A half dozen men carried a banner that read "Defend American Labor Close The Border."

"They make it clear that they are a neo-Nazi group slash white supremacist organization," Jenkins said.

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"They were kinda getting into with residents yelling back and forth, clearly this group was not welcome in town," South Plainfield Mayor Matthew Anesh said.

The anti-racist organization, the One People's Project, has been monitoring them.

"We were basically trying to alert folks that this particular element was at this particular parade, and we wanted to know why," Jenkins said.

"This group didn't try and register or otherwise be part of the parade, they literally tried to insert themselves onto the parade route," Mayor Anesh said.

Police kept the group from entering the parade. The mayor clarified in a letter saying, "treated this protesting group, as just that, protestors."

An emergency council meeting is now planned Tuesday night, to address all concerns.

"It should have been pretty clear to this group that they weren't welcome on the parade route, they weren't welcome in the town and they're not welcome in the future," Anesh said.

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