Planned Neo-Nazi March Sparks Violence

CNN, Oct. 15

TOLEDO, Ohio—A neo-Nazi group’s scheduled march against “black crime” in Toledo, Ohio, sparked rioting Saturday afternoon.

Police and SWAT teams moved in, and about two dozen rioters were arrested, Toledo Police Chief Michael Navarre said. He said he expected 30 to 40 arrests by the end of the day.

Toledo Mayor Jack Ford declared a state of emergency and asked for 50 highway patrol officers to reinforce Toledo police. A curfew came into effect at 8 p.m. for people “roaming around the streets,” he said.

He also blamed gang members for the violence, saying it turned into “exactly what they wanted,” referring to the Nazi group. Ford said he had appealed to the community Friday night to ignore the Nazi march.

It’s not clear why the National Socialist Movement chose north Toledo for its march, said Ford, himself African-American. “It is not a neighborhood where you have a lot of friction in the first place,” he said.

The NSM promotes itself as America’s Nazi Party and said that it was protesting black gangs, which it claimed were harassing white residents. The group said it had received support from Toledo’s white citizens and community activists.

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About 20 members from both the International Socialists Organization and One People’s Project showed up, and some handed eggs to African-American residents to throw at the Nazi marchers, White said.

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The Nazi march was called off, and none of the National Socialist Movement group’s 80 members who showed up to participate was arrested, White said.

Hours later, aerial video showed people vandalizing buildings and setting fire to a two-story building that apparently housed a bar, Toledo police spokeswoman Capt. Diana Ruiz-Krause told CNN.

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“The crowd was very . . . extremely agitated at the police . . . for doing this [making arrests in] the community when they should be doing this to the Nazis,” Jagodzinski said.

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11 a.m.: About a dozen neo-Nazis in uniform gather at the east side of Woodward High School yelling, “White pride, not hate” and racial insults. Across the street, a growing crowd of people yells back as they held signs like “No Nazi Hate” and “Fight Racism, Down With Nazis.” Police were stationed near the neo-Nazis to protect them from the crowd.

11:20 a.m.: A line of about 40 more Toledo police officers makes its way to the neo-Nazis to surround them in preparation for the march.

11:25 a.m.: Some police officers begin arming themselves with plastic shields.

11:35 a.m.: Protesters throw rocks at the neo-Nazis and mounted police patrols. Police make the first arrest involving the protest.

11:45 a.m.: After surrounding the neo-Nazis, numbering about 15, police and the marchers walk to Woodrow Wilson Park, where a wall of police stands between the neo-Nazis and members of the media gathered for a press conference.

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11:57 a.m.: As angry crowds along Stickney begin throwing bricks and rocks at vehicles, police decide to cancel the march out of fear that the situation could get out of control. Screaming “censorship” and making the Nazi salute, the neo-Nazis eventually agree to get into their cars and drive away.

12:20 p.m.: The neo-Nazis are gone from the North Toledo area by now, but violence begins to intensify. Crowds of several hundred people begin gathering at the intersection of Central and Mulberry.

12:25 p.m.: The Central and Mulberry mobs begin throwing rocks. Police respond by launching tear gas canisters.

12:30 p.m.: An endless stream of vehicles, including a local TV truck, is pelted with bricks and rocks by mobs. At least one Toledo police sport utility vehicle is seen driving through the neighborhood with its windshield and other windows smashed.

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2:50 p.m.: Looters break into Jim & Lou’s Bar, at 3032 Mulberry, steal liquor, destroy an upstairs apartment, and set it on fire.

2:55 p.m.: Looters emerge from a building, believed to be a bar, at Central and Mulberry, only 20 yards from where Mayor Ford, Chief Bell, and Mr. Bey are addressing the crowd. Shots are heard. Reports quickly circulate through the crowd that looters discovered guns in the establishment. Mayor Ford, Chief Bell, and Mr. Bey begin walking back on Mulberry toward Woodrow Wilson Park, shaking their heads in disgust and acknowledging their frustration.

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