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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)

3 cheers for Mark Steven,, and I hope someone tore down that "defaced" American flag and burnt it..its things like this ( breaking a US LAW) defacing the American flag..thats why US CITIZENS are angry over "ILLEGAL" immigration...what is it with the word ILLEGAL don't these fools understand? maybe a Spanish to English Dictionary should be handed to them.. ILLEGAL one who breaks the LAW...
This was in no way compairable to what HITLER did... those who died at his hands didn't have a choice to become Germans..stop trying to invoke tears from the people by compairing these two subjects..

There were more people supporting the bible than complaining about the AZ law last night. Mountain, molehill comes to mind.

The debate is not about racism despite the fact that illegals and their supporters would have us believe that they are being discriminated against, the debate is about the laws of the United States and those that respect the laws and those that don't. Latinos are no more at fault than any other foreign born who are here in the US illegally
Remove all the emotional baggage and it's simple,
You're here by crossing our borders without permission and without following the already in place legal path to citizenship ....so GO HOME.
Go home and do your best to remake your beautiful but disfunctional country.

If there had been a butcher on 4th and Main st who would occasionally turn his head while a "patron" stole a steak, it would be the same mess. The thief would be marching in front of his store for not allowing him to get a free one, when the proprietor changed his kindnesses.

What we have here is THIEVES demanding now, and like-thieves seeing their point.

The Times is really trying hard to keep these anti-Arizona hippies pertinent.

People seem to be confused on why many Hispanics are against this law. They are not trying to help illegal immigrants but rather trying to prevent from being categorized as an illegal immigrant when they are not. This law is flawed as it will end up targeting Hispanics in general and not precisely illegal immigrants. I am Mexican-American, bring something that is not FLAWED and I WILL support laws against illegal immigration!

Bunch of liberals and democrats need to shut up and listen. Long story short, U.S will save lots of $$$ if we pass this law. And the $$$ can help our economy and to our future education.

If the Lakers ever wear "Los Lakers" jerseys, I'm done.

I remember when soccer fans chanted "Obama, Obama, Obama" after September 11 2001 when the American team took the field in Mexico City.

Hate us with your hands always out.... Yeah, that'll work.

I am a Holaucaust survivor. I married an African-American, and my son is somewhat dark-skinned. If he decides to go to Arizona, and is asked to show he is American, must he constantly carry his passport with him? It is a problem that is plaguing France right now. If you look like an Arab, you might be stopped and asked to show ID papers. My son has been mistaken for Hawaian in Hawai, Arabic in France, Egyptian in the US...
In wartime France, Jews had to carry papers showing a picture in profile, since ALL Jews have long noses. and besides our papers were marked JEW, in red ink. Not to forget the yellow Jewish star. How could the Germans miss?

As citizens are we not suppose to uphold the law? Each time I read an article related to this AZ law it saddens my heart. All of the men and women who fight for us to remain a free country. It really seems to just be a slap in their face. All you people here safe at home free to go to a Laker game and you just mock what this country is suppose to stand for. If someone is found illegal they will not be put to death, just brought home. What is so bad about that. If you are not illegal then what do you have to worry about? If the Laker players do not like our US laws send them back to their native countries to play basketball. Or since the fees of becoming a legal citizen are so high and the Lakers feel so opposed to the AZ law the players should rally to pay for people to become legal citizens.

P.S> with a loser like nobama in office this is a no win situation for AZ supporters. He is now in meetings with the mexican president to see if we can keep their illegals and continue to pay them welfare and give them anything we can to make their life easier, while the rest of our country suffers and struggles...

Ok, so what is the limit? 2 million? 50 million? How many illegal people can our limited resources hold? The current health, education, employment, etc. systems can barely maintain U.S. citizens now. Can U.S. citizens go to Mexico & demand free healthcare, free education, free housing, free life while the Mexican people pay for it all & pay for our children to also benefit from their money? Where does the U.S. draw the line? At some point you have to look at supply & demand. The U.S. is NOT a bottomless source of resources. Mexico needs to develop their country to support its people just like every country needs to. You have to draw the line somewhere, somehow or else pay the consequences in the future.

For people here legally it becomes increasingly more difficult to understand why so many individuals are granted immunity from government scrutiny. Working class citizens must pay for health insurance, benefits, while others are given these for no penalty. Yes if we have these laws we must continue to enforce them to the fullest extent and not be so lax.

I have to shake my head at most of you, this is a very racist law. Growing up in LA and being latino, i have seen my african american friends become targeted as well as latinos because the color of their skin. Police Officers just say you look like a suspect and get away with it. It gives them the right to F with you at will, and make you carry around your birth certificate with you.

Just follow the laws that are in place and we will have no problems. Why is that other countries have laws about immigration that they follow. No problems there.


It's funny you guys ask how it is racist, and some comments here you guys mentioned "hispanics," " mexicans".. you are already profiling there, no where in the article did it mention mexicans or hispanics, yet you guys do. Now you see that is exactly the same way this law is supposed to work, by profiling and you have proven me right.

I think people especially whites should appreciate "illegal immigration" after all how do they think they got here? If people are working and being responsible why can't they live here?

What happened to free speech, everyone has there own beliefs and has the right to express them that is what makes us a democracy. Just because someone speaks on their behalf does not mean they should be persecuted.

The police already pull people over because they look like gang members? how come people don't protest that. Just because a person is bald dosnt make them a gang member. Its the same if you look illegal. thats the way the law is. You have to look a certain way to fit in.

LOL! I heard on the radio last night that the news vans may have outnumbered the protesters. Passion + stupidity = funny!


Anyone comparing AZ's law to Nazi Germany is a fool. Simple as that.

Newspapers, radio, and television will print and promote anything that will sell. That's why 24 protesters generated this news blab! You see how they manipulate, and try to fool us? The more the media plays their little tricks, the more I pay no attention to them.

Bravo to Joe Cocker. We need to start with the Employers who hire illegal immigrants, its astnoshing to me that nobody does anything!!! Then move to stopping benefits to anybody here illegally, they haven't paid into the system, therefore they deserve NOTHING!!! My grandfather came her LEGALLY and had to scrape and work his whole life, welcome to the american dream, not so great when you aren't handed housing, medical benefits and such is it? Additionally, why should my tax dollars be used for ESL classes??? If you want to be here, learn the language, our school system is strapped enough. Is this such a hard concept to understand for those of us here legally? If you are illegal, you have no argument!

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