Neo-Nazis, opponents brawlPEMBERTON BOROUGH – A clash between neo-Nazis and members of an antiracist organization Friday evening left four Nazis in the hospital and prompted two arrests, according to the New Jersey State Police.
The fight involved about 50 people and took place on the eve of a neo-Nazi rally Saturday in Trenton.
State troopers responded to the fight at about 7 p.m. on the unit block of Pemberton Street, where members of the Detroit-based National Socialist Movement were gathering to prepare for their rally.
The group has been described as one of the largest neo-Nazi hate groups in the country and promotes a racist and anti-Semitic agenda, according to both the Anti-Defamation League and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
While the NSM members were meeting, about 25 people from a Minnesota-based group called the Anti-Racist Action Network drove into the borough and an armed melee ensued between the two groups. They fought with weapons such as knives, pipes and wooden boards, state police said.
All but two of the combatants, who were not seriously hurt, scattered when troopers arrived.
State police arrested Joseph W. Alcoff, 29, of Syracuse, N.Y., and Thomas T. Keenan, 25, of Franklin Township, and charged them both with third-degree inciting a riot.
Both are members of the Anti-Racist Action Network and both were transferred to the Burlington County Jail in Mount Holly in lieu of $50,000 bail each, according to state police.
Authorities said the incident remains under investigation and do not rule out further arrests and charges.
Four of the Nazis suffered undisclosed injuries as a result of the fight and were transported to local hospitals.
Two were treated and released from Lourdes Emergency Department at Deborah Heart and Lung Center in Pemberton Township. The other two were being treated at Virtua Memorial in Mount Holly on Saturday, state police said.
Their identities or conditions were not available.
The Anti-Racist Action Network posted a blog to its website about the incident describing the confrontation.
“A group of 30 of us decided to march to where the Nazis were strongest, to bodily and boldly confront them, and we were decidedly victorious,” the blog reads. “After the dust settled, six Nazis were hospitalized, more were injured, their vehicles and property were damaged, and their conference was ended.”
The neo-Nazi rally in Trenton did go on as planned for about 90 minutes Saturday, but state police said the 50 members of the National Socialist Movement who marched at the Statehouse were outnumbered fourfold by members of antiracist groups and other counter-protesters.
The event was generally peaceful, although there were at least three arrests – one for breaking a window at a bank, one for a weapons offense, and one for shooting off fireworks, according to state police.
Authorities did not immediately release further details.