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.