The purported NSM visit still has to be considered in the rumor stage. City Safety Director Joe Walters told me on Monday that he, too, had heard this rumor, and attributed it to an "unknown media report." I have been unable to find any evidence of this, save for a Dayton solidarity bonfire recently staged by NSM Sergeant Mark Martin between various neo-Nazi and white supremacist groups.
Mayor Jack Ford's public affairs spokesperson Mary Chris Skeldon also acknowledged that the Mayor is aware of the rumors, but that they "do not have any solid information" on a possible NSM return.
If there has been city-NSM negotiations, the included parties are not talking about it.
Bill White, NSM spokesman from Roanoke, issued this statement Monday:
Rumors have been circulating about an NSM return visit
for the past two weeks. I stopped confirming or
denying them about that long ago as well.
White issued a statement today mocking the Toledo media. He seems confident that any rally will not be leaked to the media in advance, but his organization seems to have people within its ranks who like to talk, and secrets rarely stay secret for long.
A source close to the ARA (Anti-Racist Action) says that he has also heard the same rumor. The ARA believes that NSM is going to try and "sneak" in, and not announce the time and place of the next Toledo visit. The ARA, possibly with the presence of the ISO (International Socialist Organization), are making contingency plans for "rapid response" to meet what they are calling the "next Nazi invasion."
According to sources close to the ARA, they believe that the city is planning on staging a quickie NSM rally downtown near the courthouse. This would be similar to the operational plan used in the 1995 KKK rally in Toledo.
A hate group watcher who has passed on a great deal of information to me in the past few weeks has also heard the November 5 date, as well as a possible November 15 visit date (which would be a Tuesday). This writer has contacts within NSM and other white supremacist groups, and is one of the most plugged-in people watching this segment of American society.
So, is White playing rope-a-dope with today's statement to lull Toledo to sleep for a Saturday visit? Have rumors of a Saturday visit scared NSM away?
How much advance notice will Toledo get of an NSM visit?
Speculation runs rampant through Toledo; the most common rumor I have heard is that city officials have threatened NSM with mass arrests if they do not acquiesce and go to a downtown, controllable rally site. Would Mr. White and his supporters risk arrest for their beliefs, or cave to city demands?
Another scenario posited by many a local pundit involves a "hit-and-run" quickie visit by NSM. In this scheme, NSM will dash into town, do a few "Sieg Heils" with photos and videos, and zip out before any effective local counter-protest can be mounted. NSM would get to proclaim victory, crowds would not have time to shred them, and police would not have to deal with a massive (and expensive) logistical nightmare.
Of course, we cannot discount the notion that White is enjoying his brush with fame, as well as his ability to keep an entire city guessing as to his next move. More than a few Toledoans have speculated that the narcissistic White is simply soaking up the attention, and that he may send out a few false starts just for kicks.