Community members, leaders create peaceful alternatives to neo-Nazi protest

Saturday, March 10, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CST; updated 9:38 p.m. CDT, Sunday, July 20, 2008
From left, Rev. John Baker, Rev. Thomas Saucier, Retired pastor Cleo Kottwitz and Pastor Tom Nordber make one of six stops to pray at the corner or Ninth and University Street at the interfaith peace procession on Saturday, March 10. A group of over 21 religious leaders of all faiths and community members gathered to walk the same route the National Socialist Movement plans to march later the same day.

Columbia residents and leaders met throughout the week to create various alternate events to counter a planned march on Saturday by the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group. Columbia police advised citizens to simply ignore the organization’s rally.

Here are some of the events:

  • Religious leaders are holding a “Prayer Procession for Peace,” a march to promote tolerance and to pray for peace along the group’s parade route at 7 a.m. for about an hour.
  • The NAACP is hosting a rally outside Boone County Courthouse at 11 a.m.
  • “Spark in the Park” is in Douglass Park at the intersection of Providence Road and Rodgers Street from noon to 5 p.m. with a disc jockey., open-mic performances, food and games.
  • The city declared today Tolerance Day.

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