Neo-Nazi Group Wants Spotlight Again After Triggering Riots in Toledo
Posted: December 9, 2005
In an effort to gain media attention and exploit racial tensions in Toledo, Ohio, the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement (NSM) is planning another rally in the city on December 10. When the NSM demonstrated in Toledo in October, about two dozen members of the group were confronted by hundreds of counter-protestors, including anti-racist and anarchist groups and local youths. The angry crowd of counter-protestors soon got out of control, throwing rocks and bricks at police officers, vandalizing cars, and setting a building on fire. Over 100 people were arrested and about a dozen officers were wounded, prompting officials in Toledo to declare a state of emergency.
After the riots received nationwide publicity, the NSM quickly decided to return to Toledo in order to exploit the results of their earlier visit, inviting other white supremacist groups to join them in order to increase their numbers. Boasting that the October riot cost the city of Toledo $336,000, one NSM webpage asked "How much will the Toledo rally #2 cost? Join us and find out!...Will the niggers & commies succeed in burning down the town?"
Ironically, the NSM blamed the city of Toledo for the riot that ensued when it tried to march there. Virginia NSM member Bill White, who organized the first event along with Ohio NSM leaders, announced that the second Toledo event was to protest the riots at the first. He claimed that Toledo abdicated its responsibility to maintain law and order, "in service to the lies of diversity and multiculturalism."
In accusing Toledo officials of not protecting its white citizens, NSM has adopted a role it has sometimes attempted to play in the past, as a civic organization interested in helping white citizens in the community. Another example occurred this past spring when NSM members cleaned up a local park in Cadillac, Michigan, and received a certificate of appreciation from the mayor of the town. During the cleanup, the neo-Nazis wore swastika armbands and other Nazi regalia and stopped to take group pictures, including some where they gave the "Heil Hitler" salute.
In January 2005, the NSM participated in the "adopt a road" program in Marion County, Oregon, which lets local groups clean up stretches of highway in exchange for recognition through signs advertising the group's name. The NSM's involvement in the program and their sign, which said "American Nazi Party" and "NSM," caused an outcry. In November, the NSM lost sponsorship of that stretch of road after it failed to remove litter from the area. Like many actions the NSM takes, the main impetus was not actually to help the community but rather to get free publicity.
In the meantime, the NSM's membership has continued to expand. The group claims to have established nearly 20 new contacts across the country since July. It also moved into the white power music business and released its first CD for sale at the end of June. The NSM has also participated in other white supremacist rallies, such as the one promoted by racist radio show host Hal Turner in Kingston, New York, in November, and has distributed fliers in various states, including Michigan, New Hampshire, Iowa, and Missouri. The group also has formed a political action committee and claims it will run candidates for national offices in 2008.