Oct 25, 2005

Views On The North Toledo Riot

David Neiwert, a West Coast author who has covered the white supremacist movement for many years, has an excellent synthesis of the North Toledo riot on his blog, Orcinus. Featuring more of the riveting photos of Isis, Neiwert adds some particularly thoughtful insights into what happened on October 15, and adds his own research on Bill White and NSM.

Clamor magazine just published a longer essay that I wrote on the events of October 15 in a supplement that is available on their website. I may tick some people off with my analysis, but I think there is a lot more going on below the surface that our leaders and the mainstream media may be missing. The photos on that essay were also by Isis, but the webmaster did not credit her; I will flog the Clamor folks and correct this.

WSPD radio host Bob Frantz makes sure that we do not forget that lawlessness cannot be excused in his Toledo Free Press column last week. He makes some excellent points about the media and the police response.

For those whose politics are much further left, George Windau and Michael Franklin Green penned an article for Worker's World. They helped plan the coalition of protesters that confronted the Nazis, and both are part of the local labor and political activist scene in Toledo. George, incidentally, reported to me several days ago that his home has been under surveillance by not-so-undercover police units.

The mentally disturbed, perenially-acerbic Subcomandante Bob's satirical takes on the Nazis provided a modicum on comic relief in the days before and after the riot on the e-zine Toledo Tales. Subcomandante Bob, who I am told has only a tenuous grip on reality, recently announced that he checked himself into a mental health facility, but will continue to peck out his sardonic missives during his Thorazine-laden stay.

The Toledo Journal's Bob Stiegel, perhaps the Glass City's most in-your-face reporter, places most of the blame for the riot on "white professional counter-protesters" in his coverage/editorial. I disagree with this assessment, but I feel it is typical of the thinking of many in the city's leadership and mainstream media, so I included it in this review of the coverage.

The Blade devoted several editorials and many more stories to the disturbance. Some of the coverage was quite good, in particular the work of Clyde Hughes and Tom Troy , but I will leave you to do your own Google search for this material (historymike is still in "feud" mode vis a vis the Blade).


Anonymous said...

good summary mike

Anonymous said...

David Neiwert rocks! He can really write.

Lisa Renee said...

I took issue with the Neiwert piece because it, like Time, incorrectly reported the situation concerning the permit.

The NSM was not required to have a permit nor did they request one. Even the Chief of Police stated that. I think it gives the wrong impression that Toledo somehow caused this by "allowing" the demonstration to take place.

historymike said...

Yes, Neiwert glosses over the technicalities of permits vs. freedom of assembly on sidewalks, Lisa.

I think, in his defense, that he is more concerned about the larger issues of the Nazis invading a neighborhood and using a local high school as a staging ground. He raises good points about this decision by the city, which, in retrospect, I do not believe to have been thought through very well.

Lisa Renee said...

He makes some good points, however from my way of looking at it if you are starting from an incorrect point such as this statement that he makes:

And that, really, is the most important difference in Toledo. Because there, city officials inexplicably allowed the neo-Nazis to invade the mixed-race neighborhood that was the object of their protest -- a neighborhood where racial tensions already were rising, in part due to the behavior of a family of whites who essentially called the neo-Nazis in.

I feel that perpetuates some of the myths about free speech and this situation. While he is not the only one who has done this, it's just one of those sticky points for me. Especially given most of the initial anger was focused on why Toledo "allowed" the NSM there in the first place. To my way of thinking we really need focus on first what was not preventable and second what was preventable. While I agree there are some areas where this could have been handled better by Toledo's government, I don't believe it's fair to blame them for the location or the type of demonstration the NSM planned.

Lisa Renee said...

On a less sticky point type comment? I thought your Clamor piece was very well done.


Terrahawk said...

Nice article. One quibble though, I don't know if I would take anything George Windau says at face value. His article was one of the ones saying that black officers were AWOL.

I don't know if I agree with your conclusions, but that's for another day.

Hooda Thunkit said...

Of everything that I've read about the "riot" to date, your Clamor article was the most logical and factual (Based on what I've heard and been told).

The presentation was flawless and the timeline gave me a perfectly clear picture of the events of the day.

It was a delight to read.

Well done!