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Emotions flare at Lakers game protest

Emotions flared Monday evening as activists protested remarks by Lakers coach Phil Jackson that seemed to support Arizona's controversial immigration law.

The activists had gathered outside of Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles when two men squared off in an emotional debate over Arizona's new law, which makes it a state crime to lack immigration papers and requires police to determine whether people they stop are in the country illegally.

One of the men, Michael Novick, said his father's family had been killed in the Holocaust. He compared the Arizona law to policies enacted in the early days of Nazi Germany. That drew an angry response from Mark Steven of Santa Ana.

To hear the men, click on the video above.

--Robert J. Lopez

Video: Protest outside of Staples Center. Credit: Robert J. Lopez/Los Angeles Times.

Comments () | Archives (61)

What a bunch of loooooooosers!!!!

If we are against illegal immigration and not per say them, why won't we make it legal? If they do it legally then they are welcomed here right, well do they know how freaking expensive it is? The people that can afford it are probably here for vacation or have the means to come here to our schools. But the people that can't afford it are the ones that cant wait and come here illegaly. Legal or not who ever is FRAUDING the system should be stopped period. We need reform and we need it now. If a black man a white man and a brown man walk into a bar in Arizona who's rights will be violated first?And that not a human rights issue? Oh yeah one more thing stop supporting the murders in Mexico by buying your drugs and guns from Mexico people. Chad stop smoking that chronic! every puff you kill an innocent human!

When it comes to political commentary on the major issues of the day, Phil Jackson just isn't in my personal top ten sources. Nor in my top 100.

People who say sports and politics don't mix are either naive or lying to themselves. You think Muhammad Ali has risen to an almost mythical status simply because he was arguably the greatest boxer of all time? It was because he took a stand against injustice when he saw it and even if it was going to be unpopular for him. Phil Jackson has the right to say his comments, but I feel the Lakers should wear their Los Lakers jerseys in Game 3 in Arizona to show their opposition to the law.

Tempers from two men flared and there were....24 protesters??? Doesn't seem like such a big turn out. I say drop this whole Phil Jackson thing and focus on what matters. It's distracting from the real debate over the Arizona law.

Comparing the slaughter of 6 MILLION JEWS by Nazi Germany to the Arizona immigration law whose worst-case scenario is possible deportation is ridiculous, liberal hysteria!!

Props to Phil for speaking his mind...he is as entitled to express his opinion as anyone else.

The law in Arizona is nothing like situation between the Germans and the Jews. In case Michael forgot his history, the Jews were in Germany legally. Arizona's law targets those who are in the country illegally.

So where is all the outrage from the peanut gallery about employers who largely have ignored Arizonas 1997 law (and federal law)that requires employers to verify immigration status of new hires? Only 6% percent of businesses had complied but I don't hear about Joe Arpaio busting any businessmen who are breaking the law. If there are no jobs then there are no (or fewer) illegals. Ask me for my "papers" and I'll tell you to F-OFF! --- http://phoenix.bizjournals.com/phoenix/stories/2009/03/09/daily34.html ---- http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/news/articles/1230sanctionsstart.html?&wired

Are we done with this story yet? Thousands of Americans protesting health care in DC gets barely a mention, but a couple dozen protesting in support of illegal aliens is front page news?

Change the laws if you don't like them, but enforce the ones you have. These people are in the USA illegally, full stop. Unless you are asking for political asylum, any country in the world will allow the police to stop you if they suspect you are there illegally, and deport you if you are. Stop playing the race card and elect officials who will reform immigration policy so that those who want to enter the USA to work can do so legally more easily. Realize that the negative elements are taxing the infrastructure and quality of life for border areas. You want to protest ? Protest against the Mexican government's inability to provide a life for their citizens that will not drive them to risk everything to enter the USA.

Nice upside down desecration of our American flag. I'm sure he uses it as a door mat on a regular basis so doing this is no big deal to that Chicano race warrior. Who's the racist? Look in the mirror guy.

The L.A. City Council is causing me embarrassment. What a way to treat our neighbor--Arizona. This boycott is going to hurt the hard working people of Arizona--not the smugglers, dope dealers, and the coyotes. I was going to vote for Janice Hahn for LG. No more. What nerve--telling the Lakers how to act and what not buy when they are in AZ.

Not surprising the protest was a total flop...Laker fans were either inside Staples or home watching the game on TV!!

Props to the Lakers for not politicizing sports by wearing their Los Lakers jerseys...if the politico owner of the Suns, Robert Sarver, spent as much time and energy building a quality TEAM instead of concentrating on political issues, THE SUNS MIGHT HAVE AN NBA CHAMPIONSHIP RING BY NOW!!

Perhaps the USA should become more like the rest of the world in regards to immigration. We can start by acting like France, make it illegal to provide SHELTER to undocumented people. Add in a little Mexico, require people hold and call authorities on illegal aliens. Follow EU guidelines and hold in jail for 18 months undocumented people before deporting them. Yes, the USA is way behind the rest of the world in this.

I love all of the protest and controversy....I think it's going to cause all the states to follow AZ...
I'm more than willing to carry my ID on me at all times to avoid being mistakenly sent to Germany...

How can you compare the Nazi's to Illegal imigrants breaking the US Federal Laws?
These people whom feel it is OK to break the law are also the ones who come up with these stupid remarks

Just goes to show you that people can't think for themselves. A guy compares AZ to Nazi Germany. So he is a parrot - he is repeating the same junk from a council person that over dramatizes and is not reflective of what is really happening in AZ. The council are not out to do anything but promote themselves and their political careers, they know that this law is completely within federal guidelines. I hope that we in OC don't ever have a council that gets so short-sighted that they show the same poor judgement that LA has.

Holocaust? where did they say we were to gather the illegals rape, beat, starve,torture them then gas them?These people are insane! how does upholding a law that already exsists racism or natziism? how can anyone compare this action to the holocaust? people against the arizona law are ignorant and are grasping at any straw to gain attention for their cause which is to support the people who come to our country illegally and refuse to speak english. Please READ what happened to innocent people during the holocaust. This was a disgusting time and so many people died and were tortured. All we are asking is to uphold the federal law that says you need to be a citizen of the USA, documented worker, have papers saying you belong here in any capacity etc.

Michael Novick is an idiot to ever make a comparison like that

Opponents of SB 1070 are using emotional cliche's like "Nazi" because there is no sound logic in their argument. The truth is that AZ state and local law enforcement will now be able to enforce federal law. Opponents don't like this because it means that their friends and family members that are here illegally are now in danger of being forced to return home. Their only argument is that the law is racist.

How can a law that defines what kind of immigration is legal vs. illegal be racist?

Bye bye mooching criminal illegals... you time is up, your fault, you drained tax payers dry.

Really the point of this law is being totally misconstrewd.The simple fact is it is illegal to be in this country without proper papers.Thit is the simple fact.If you are mexican and here legally you have nothing to worrie about.If you are "illegal" you should not recieve any type of state funding in any way ie: medical or fin.aid.If you are commiting a crime you should be arrested...What I dont understand is all these people who oppose this law are fighting to help people who are commiting crimes.........

I'm so sick and tired of hearing this none sense protest against AZ immigration bill. What is it exactly about "illegal aliens should not be here in this country". Illegal immigration is a crime. If you are an illegal alien you have no right to demand from the US. The law is the law.

Emotions run high in the LAUSD over the prospect of secession to Mexico too.
La Raza and MECHA have the common thread of 'La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.' For The Race everything. Outside The Race, nothing. 'The Race' being tradional Mexican racial division of Mestizo as opposed to Creole. And secession of US holdings to the superior Mexican authorities. With LAUSD high school teachers leading miliant rallies calling themselves Mexican. Try googling militante del union del barrio.

He has the right to speak out in the support of a state that has the guts to enforce CURRENT Federal laws against immigration.
All these Mexicans are doing is entrenching views of Americans across the country that enough is enough.

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