Sunday, September 7, 2008

Columbia, Missouri - Neo-Nazi Group Insists On Kristallnacht March Date

Columbia, Missouri -- A leader of the neo-Nazi National Socialist Movement said in a letter to Columbia’s interim Police Chief Tom Dresner that his group intends to march Nov. 8 in Columbia - with or without a special event permit.

On Aug. 29, the organization applied for a permit to march from Watson Place to the Boone County Courthouse, where its members planned to demonstrate from noon to 5 p.m. Police denied the application because the proposed march is on the same date as a University of Missouri home football game and there would not be enough law enforcement officers to work security at the game and at the neo-Nazis’ event.

Dresner said Thursday that police were willing to work with the group on an alternative date.
However, Steven Boswell, leader of the NSM Missouri chapter, said the group prefers Nov. 8 because it falls on the weekend of the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, when Nazis in Germany began their campaign of violence against Jews.

Schoep said in his letter a football game is not a valid reason to deny a permit and his group has a legal right to stage a walking picket on city sidewalks even without a permit. "Our attorneys are confident and assure us that you cannot impede a walking picket on public property in any manner, and any wrongful arrests of people doing a walking picket would surely embarrass your department and would be grounds for a massive lawsuit on our part," Schoep said.

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