National Socialist Movement might assemble in Columbia without permit

Thursday, September 4, 2008 | 8:12 p.m. CDT; updated 10:15 p.m. CDT, Saturday, September 6, 2008

COLUMBIA - Despite being denied parade and special event permits, the National Socialist Movement plans to assemble in Columbia on Nov. 8, a weekend that coincides with a home football game for the Missouri Tigers.

"We don't need a permit to assemble. We may just show up and walk and picket," NSM Commander Jeff Schoep said.

On Aug. 29, Steven Boswell of the Missouri chapter of the NSM filed for parade and special event permits for Nov. 8, the same day MU football plays against Kansas State. The Columbia Police Department denied the application on the basis that having both events would leave the city with inadequate police coverage.

If the organization comes to Columbia, it would not parade without a permit or violate any city laws, Schoep said. Instead, he said, participants would assemble on sidewalks but would not disrupt the flow of traffic. In place of a rally, some of the organizers plan to distribute flyers at the football game.

Interim Columbia Police Chief Tom Dresner said if members of the organization assemble on sidewalks, police would enforce "all applicable laws" to keep public order.

"I would urge all residents to stay as clear of them as possible, should they choose to come anyway," Dresner said.

Schoep said the group plans to return to Columbia because he considers the previous protest a success.

"We'd gotten quite a bit of positive feedback from local citizens," he said.

The National Socialist Movement held a rally and parade that attracted around 500 spectators and protesters March 10, 2007, in downtown Columbia. Members of the Boone County Emergency Response Team and 60 riot police officers from the MU Police Department, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the Boone County Sherrif's Department and the Jefferson City Police Department monitored the event. In addition, the highway patrol stationed a helicopter at the march.

During the demonstration , mild disturbances broke out along the route and seven protestors were arrested. Other Columbia residents responded to the parade by attending "Spark in the Park," an alternative event in Douglass Park. The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People also held a demonstration outside the Boone County Courthouse to protest the march.

The NSM decided to assemble on Nov. 8 because of the its proximity to a "significant date in National Socialist history," Schoep said. On Nov. 9, 1923, members of the German National Socialist party, including Adolf Hitler, attempted a coup in Munich, Germany. The failed uprising, which came to be called the Beer Hall Putsch, sent Hitler to jail and also gave birth to the Blutfahne, the Nazi swastika flag.



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Charles Dudley Jr September 4, 2008 | 8:21 p.m.

This is my post on another forum/blog here in Columbia:

In my honest opinion if they want to break local laws and march and protest with a group mentality when they know better then call up the Governor and call up the State Highway Patrol,Sheriff's Department and a few hundred of the Missouri National Guardsmen,deputize the guardsmen on the spot if they are not already deputized for civil unrest type of actions and deal with these troublemakers just as they want to be treated. Why should they be treated any different than any other group who says they will willfully break local marching or protest laws that could incite to riot.
Get that ole Boone County Hilton ready I have a feeling it is going to fill up really quick and have a judge or two on stand by to dish out those maximum fines/sentences as well.
I find it hard to believe some of you want them to be here and to let them do whatever they want to do after they openly proclaim they will willfully break our local laws and ordinances? Some of you seriously need your head checked. Seriously Columbia wake the hell up.

(Report Comment)
Amber Hanneken September 4, 2008 | 8:45 p.m.

I feel bad for the police who are going to have to deal with whatever trouble these people bring plus the football activities.
It's a nice notion to have people ignore them but just like with the parade, people who should have been ignoring them and letting them parade to an empty crowd instead got in their face and made even more of a mess.
I had fun at the Douglass Park event that day and I can only hope more people enjoy the football game than pay attention to them if they do decide to come back.

(Report Comment)
Ray Shapiro September 5, 2008 | 1:54 p.m.

Any Hate group which historically basis its marches, protests and picketing to instigate, promote, intimidate and perpetuate violence could be denied a permit under the freedom of speech clause stipulating "peaceful assembly." I see no peaceful intent from this group of villians whose actions and beliefs catagorize them as hate-crimers. Use our laws to protect the innocent and not allow criminals to hide and manipulate the intent of our constitution. The city of Columbia should not spend any extra money to protect these scoundrels from themselves or those foolish enough to add to their violence. (Kill them in our courts and in the media not in our streets.)

Sieg Heil is German for I'm an idiot!

(Report Comment)
Ellis Smith September 5, 2008 | 5:00 p.m.

This situation has gotten considerable discussion on a local cyber forum. The thinking a present is that there should be a "counter parade," with a route that does not remotely come close to that of these idiots. The parade would be held at the exact same time. There would be plenty of candy tossed out by those in the parade to kids of attending families. The parade would have advance publicity. Let these Nazi morons march safely, with few if any Columbians to watch them do it.

(Report Comment)
Charles Dudley Jr September 5, 2008 | 6:22 p.m.

ray shapiro I agree with you totally on this issue but it seems the citizens of Columbia want to sit on their laurels and have the police do everything for them.

I agree there is talk of a counter rally as the last time and it is a great idea too! A counter rally with positive propaganda based on making our city safer from the crime problems we face and "targeting at risk kids" and how to actually help them become better citizens as well.

This sounds like a great rally our local church leaderships/memberships should come together on and fully organize.

(Report Comment)

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