"The movement's dying down in Huntington Beach," Brian said. "It used to be a lot of white people, but now there are too many minorities coming in."
Brian's girlfriend, Cindy, 17, who attended Fourth Reich Skins meetings in her hometown of Huntington Beach, said many skinheads are leaving Huntington Beach because they feel increasing hostility from people on the street and from police. She said a group of Latinos blackened her eyes at a gas station a few months ago when she answered, in response to their questions, that she was a white-power skinhead.
"Everywhere you go, you get persecuted for being a skinhead," Cindy said.
She added that there are fewer punk music concerts than there used to be.
Nonetheless, Huntington Beach seems to crop up frequently as the site of skinhead activity or as the hometown of suspects in racially motivated violence. Jonathan Bernstein, regional director of the Anti-Defamation League of B'nai B'rith, which has studied skinhead gangs, said a review of the news shows that the city is a focal point for those racist, white groups.
A November, 1990 skinhead rally at Central Park to support Tom Metzger, leader of the White Aryan Resistance, degenerated into verbal insult-swapping with onlookers. Three skinheads from Huntington Beach beat a gay man in Laguna Beach in 1988. At Ocean View High in January, a swastika was burned into the grass and a Nazi flag was hung from the flagpole. Recently, 250 students from Edison High School received skinhead recruitment flyers at home.
City Councilwoman Linda Moulton-Patterson said a resident called her recently to report a brawl between skinheads and Vietnamese youth downtown. She said she is deeply disturbed by the string of incidents involving skinheads from Huntington Beach, and plans to ask police for a detailed, written report on the status of the skinhead movement in the city.
"I know we seem to have this image of having lots of skinheads," said Moulton-Patterson. "It's disgusting to me that any of them would come from our city. It can't be tolerated. To think of these kids imitating Hitler just makes me sick."
Brian and Cindy, for their part, say they believe Huntington Beach is past its prime as a skinhead hangout. As soon as they turn 18, Brian said, he and Cindy are heading for Washington state.
"There's a movement up there," Brian said.
Staff writer Jim Newton contributed to this story.