How One Town 'Welcomed' Neo-Nazis
- (The people of Toledo know how to deal with neo-Nazi thugs. It is a fair bet
that the fascist scum won't be coming back to Toledo any time soon. SR)
Neighbors: Neo-Nazis Had No Right in Area
Sunday October 16, 2005 11:01 PM
By JOHN SEEWER
Associated Press Writer
TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - In the days leading up to a white supremacist march,
ministers pleaded with residents to stay calm and community leaders
organized peace rallies.
Authorities even delayed releasing the route so protesters wouldn't know
where the group planned to march.
It wasn't enough to stop an angry mob that included gang members from
looting and burning a neighborhood bar, smashing the windows of a gas
station and hurling rocks and bottles at police on Saturday. Twelve officers
were injured, one suffering a concussion when a brick flew through her
In all, 114 people were arrested on charges including assault, vandalism,
failure to disperse and overnight curfew violations.
``We knew during the preparation that it was going to be a tremendous
challenge,'' Police Chief Mike Navarre said Sunday. ``Anyone who would
accuse us of being underprepared I would take exception with that.''
Much of the anger boiled over because people were upset that city leaders
were willing to allow the supremacists to walk through the neighborhood and
shout insults, residents and authorities said.
``You can't allow people to come challenge a whole city and not think they
weren't going to strike back,'' said Kenneth Allen, 47, who watched the
violence begin near his home.
Authorities said there was little they could do to stop the group, because
they did not apply for a parade permit and instead planned to walk along
``They do have a right to walk on the Toledo sidewalks,'' said Mayor Jack
Ford, who at one point confronted leaders of the mob and tried to settle
A gang member in a mask threatened to shoot him, and others cursed him for
allowing the march, the mayor said. He said he didn't know if the man who
threatened him was actually armed, but he blamed gangs for much of the
violence. The march had been called off because of the crowds, and the white
supremacists had left.
If the Nazi group tries to come back, Ford said he would seek a court order
to stop them.
Navarre said the riots escalated because members of the National Socialist
Movement took their protest to the neighborhood, which is predominantly
black, instead of a neutral place. ``If this march had occurred in downtown
Toledo, we wouldn't have had the unrest,'' he said.
The neo-Nazi group, known as ``America's Nazi Party,'' said they came to the
city because of a dispute between neighbors, one white and the other black.
Police began receiving word midweek from officers on the street that gangs
were going to descend on the neighborhood in protest, the police chief said.
The disturbances were confined to a 1-square-mile area, but the crowd
swelled to about 600 people, overwhelming police.
The crowds were eventually dispersed by police in riot gear after about four
hours, and the mayor declared a state of emergency that remained in effect
through the weekend.
About 200 officers patrolled the neighborhood overnight after the riot,
Navarre said. Police reported no problems Sunday, but an 8 p.m. curfew was
in effect for a second night.
Neighbors were divided about the city allowing the march.
``They don't have the right to bring hate to my front yard,'' said Terrance
Anderson, who lives near a bar that was destroyed.
Other neighbors said the group had a right to have their say. ``Too bad the
people couldn't ignore them,'' said Dee Huntley.
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