Ohio Residents Clash With Neo-Nazi Group
News and Wire Reports
Oct. 16, 2005
They got "exactly what they wanted," said Ford, who had urged the community to ignore the Nazis. He said the group goes from community to community spreading hatred and sparking fights.
"Based on the intelligence we received, that’s exactly what they do – they come into town and get people riled up," Ford told CNN. "I think that’s a very common technique."
Angry counter-protesters appeared to be hurling stones at Nazi members and police. Aerial videotape on CNN showed people setting fire to a business; they also used baseball bats to tear down fences and to break into area stores. The violence took place within a six- to eight-block area in the north Toledo neighborhood, Toledo police spokeswoman Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause told CNN.
About 150 officers on horseback, bicycles and in riot gear attempted to quell the confusion. Officers showed "considerable restraint" despite having been hit with rocks and bottles for "considerable hours" Ford said.
"We could have made a couple hundred arrests," he said.
Should hate groups be allowed to assemble under protection of law?
What a strange question. Obviously hate groups who throw rocks and riot should not be allowed to assemble under protection of law.
There was no story on WET. There is no White Entertainment Television. But the following was at least less of a whitewash (pun intended):
Emergency Declared After Anti-Nazi Riots
Oct 16 12:27 AM US/Eastern
By JOHN SEEWER
Associated Press Writer
A crowd protesting a white supremacists’ march Saturday turned violent, throwing baseball-sized rocks at police, vandalizing vehicles and stores, and setting fire to a neighborhood bar, authorities said.
When Mayor Jack Ford and a local minister tried to calm the rioting, they were cursed for allowing the march, and Ford said a masked gang member threatened to shoot him.
At least 65 people were arrested and several police officers were injured before calm was restored about four hours later.
Ford blamed the rioting on gangs taking advantage of a volatile situation. He declared a state of emergency, set an 8 p.m. curfew through the weekend, and asked the Highway Patrol for help.
"It’s exactly what they wanted," Ford said of the group that planned the march, which was canceled because of the rioting.
. . .
When the rioting began, Ford tried to negotiate with those involved, but "they weren’t interested in that." He said people in the crowd swore at him and wanted to know why he was protecting the Nazis.
They were mostly "gang members who had real or imagined grievances and took it as an opportunity to speak in their own way," Ford said.
"I was chagrined that there were obvious mothers and children in the crowd with them," he said.
. . .
Keith White, a black resident, criticized city officials for allowing the march in the first place.
"They let them come here and expect this not to happen?" said White, 29.
That last comment – expressing an apparently common sentiment amongst the rioters – is what could be called the Racist’s Veto, a variation of the Ignoramus’s Veto, which is itself a variation of the Heckler’s Veto. The argument goes like this. Someone (in this case "Nazis") says something about race that gets you in such a lather that you riot, therefore the speech you object to should be forbidden. Of course in a democracy the proper response to an argument you don’t like is a reasoned counter-argument, not violence. Using intimidation to silence people who have something to say about race is, well, racist.
What does Mayor Ford think the gangs’ real grievances are? Is "an opportunity to speak in their own way" anything but a lame euphemism for "burning and looting"? A timeline of events shows the Nazis marched non-violently for less than 80 minutes and left, after which violent protesters began a senseless riot that 3 hours later was still out of control:
Many of the firefighters are wearing bulletproof vests. A black man, Sir Boston, 53, of Central Avenue, runs toward the police officers and pleads with them not to let the fire trucks in for their own safety just yet. He warns that five gangs have control of the Central and Mulberry intersection, and that firefighters are sure to be assaulted if they attempt to put out the blaze. Police move in, anyway, now determined to disperse the crowd with tear gas and a show of force.
Ironically the intolerant and racially motivated crowd made the Nazis’ point, ie. that whites aren’t safe walking through Toledo. Ford’s reaction is classic. Why give any creedence to the stated objective of the Nazi marchers when you can instead imagine an agenda that places the blame on them and absolves the rioters? One wonders if there is some fantasy world where pinko subversives and black supremacists also suffer this kind of reactionary violence whenever they spew their hate. You know, a world where the headlines read Emergency Declared After Anti-Pinko Riots or Ohio Residents Clash With Neo-Panthers Group and the focus is on how the Pinkos and the Allah-Lovin Brothas bring violence on themselves with their negative messages.