US city braces for neo-Nazis' return

Hundreds of police mobilized to keep order in Toledo, OH after Oct. riots.

December 10, 2005 16:33
1 minute read.

Hundreds of police officers from across northern Ohio along with state troopers have been mobilized to guard against another riot fueled by a neo-Nazi rally. Members of the National Socialist Movement planned to gather Saturday afternoon on the steps of City Hall. Two months ago, their planned march sparked a four-hour riot, in which businesses were burned and looted and bricks were thrown at police and an ambulance driver. The violence scarred the city, prompting its leaders to examine race relations and efforts to combat gangs. In October, the neo-Nazis said they wanted to protest gangs and rising crime in a Toledo neighborhood. This time, they say they want to protest how police and the city handled the October confrontation. Anti-racist groups also were planning a counter protest Saturday to shout down the white supremacists. City leaders fear protesters of the neo-Nazis will try to rally somewhere outside the downtown demonstration and incite more trouble. A Lucas County judge granted the city's request Friday to block the neo-Nazi group and counter protesters from rallying beyond the downtown government building's grounds. This time, the rally will be about two miles from the racially mixed neighborhood where the original march was to take place. Police canceled the march because they said the neo-Nazis tried to change the time and route of the protest. The angry mob, which included rival gang members, looted and burned a corner bar and smashed the windows of a gas station. Twelve officers were injured and 114 people were arrested. Adding to the chaos were hundreds of people who came out of their homes to join the fray. Anyone attending the rally on Saturday will go through security checkpoints.

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