BEVERLY HILLS (CBSLA.com) — Authorities said hundreds of Jews and their allies protested president-elect Donald Trump’s hiring of former Breitbart.com executive editor Steve Bannon as his chief strategist.
The protest was held in front of Breitbart headquarters in Beverly Hills.
The internet site has been heavily criticized for what many call racist and anti-Semitic copy and commentary.
Organizers said 400 attended the rally. Some news reports put the crowd at around 300.
The “If Not Now LA” march demanded that Trump fire and denounce Bannon.
The site has rubbed many groups the wrong way. It has been described as a place for the alt-right to discuss politics. The term alt-right was coined by Richard Spencer who leads a think-tank that says is “dedicated to the heritage, identity, and future of people of European descent in the United States.”
At a recent gathering, members of the group raised their arms in salute and said “Hail Trump.” To many, the term alt-right is used as a softer and more media-friendly reference than “white supremacist.”
Bannon recently said he is not a white supremacist but an “economic nationalist.”
In a 2007 divorce proceeding, Bannon’s ex-wife testified that he said he didn’t want his children “going to school with whiny Jews.” Several Jewish children at the protest Sunday mocked that comment and held signs saying they were “whiny.”
Protesters gathered about 10 a.m. at La Cienega Park before marching to Breitbart on nearby Wilshire Boulevard.
In a sketch on “Saturday Night Live,” Bannon was portrayed as the Grim Reaper causing Trump to blast the show, again, on Twitter.
While Bannon has publicly said he supported Israel If Not Now said his comments and work at Breitbart better describe his true feelings. In a statement, the group said, “his unilateral support for the Israel … does not excuse or supercede his persistent anti-Semitism.”
Prominent Jews led one segment of the march, and accused Bannon of building a political career out of targeting Muslims, immigrants, women, the LGBTQ community, and other minorities.
Rabbi Nate DeGroot, an organizer, said in a statement “we have come upon a place that demands we speak up, what we know to be true and good, with voices that do not quiver and souls that do not shake.”
No arrests were made.