The Mexican government has said that an anti-immigration demonstration by a white nationalist group outside its New York consulate has “worsened the climate for the country’s relationship with the United States,” Reuters reports.
“There is no wall that can divide what centuries of history have united,” tweeted Consul General of Mexico to New York City Diego Gomez Pickering in response to the protest.
Un grupo supremacista blanco se congregó frente a @ConsulMexNuy gritando consignas falsas sobre la conformación demográfica de EEUU y la comunidad migrante mexicana, a ellos decimos #NoPlaceForHate! No hay muro que pueda dividir lo que siglos de historia han unido #JuntosSomosMas
— Diego Gomez Pickering (@gomezpickering) July 30, 2018
The demonstration occurred Saturday, when a group of protesters gathered outside the Mexican Consulate to support the construction of a border wall at the Southern border, NYT reports. The protest group, with some dressed as construction laborers, held large blue letters spelling “Build the Wall” and chanted “make America great again” repeatedly. The protest has been described as a flash demonstration consisting of around 45 people. There was also a secondary protest by the same group at Upper Manhattan’s Fort Tryon Park that involved a banner drop with the words “STOP THE INVASION. END IMMIGRATION,” according to the Wall Street Journal.
The Mexican government said it has sent a diplomatic note to the U.S. State Department in response to the demonstration, stating that it has worsened the climate for U.S.-Mexican relations. Mexican foreign minister Luis Videgaray has said, “We reject and condemn these events”, Reuters reports.
The organization behind the protest, Identity Evropa (IE), is an American identitarian group that has described itself as a nonviolent organization that promotes white identity and protests demographic changes in the West, mainly through flyering, banner drops and networking on college campuses.
The group has associated with alt-right/white nationalist groups in the past and was present at the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville. IE has been labelled by the Anti-Defamation League as a racist and anti-Semitic hate group.
In response to being labeled as a Neo-Nazi group by The Wall Street Journal, the director of IE Patrick Casey referred to his group as a “European Heritage Club.”
The organization stated the purpose behind the protest was to “call for the construction of a border wall, an end to mass immigration, and the restoration of America’s historic demographics.” IE has also accused the Mexican government of tacitly supporting illegal crossings to the U.S., reports Reuters.
“You do realize we have the right to freely assemble and speak our minds, correct?” said Casey in response to Consul Diego Gomez Pickering accusing the group of shouting false slogans.