Left: Photo of October 15 NSM rally taken by historymike
(Toledo, OH) Voters tomorrow will select the person who will lead the city for the next four years. I am writing this open letter in the hope that you will take a few items under advisement with regard to the October 15 riot in North Toledo, and what can be done to avoid future problems involving white supremacists.
Disabuse youself of the "outside agitators" theory - Organized groups like the ISO and ARA were only a small component of the crowd, and many of them were Toledoans. The anger of the rioters, while expressed in unacceptable ways, owes more to unemployment, poverty, and perceived police repression than a couple of drum-beating socialists.
Do not repeat the mistake of allowing white supremacists (or any other hate group)unlimited free speech: Like the metaphorical shout of "fire" in a crowded theater, the racist rhetoric of the NSM was permitted to be spewed in a neighborhood park and on the grounds of Woodward High School; this went against the original plan. Future visits by similar groups should be confined to a neutral site away from neighborhoods. Members of any group that refuse these reasonable limits should be prosecuted if they attempt to invade a neighborhood.
Realize that there are racist elements in this community who would dearly love to see more violence: Ignore the fact that hatemongers exist in Toledo at your own peril. While Bill White and some NSM members traveled a long way to participate in the event of October 15, they had a Toledo welcoming committee. Keep a close watch on certain centers of neo-Nazi activity, and be aware that there is more going on in some establishments than meets the eye; rumors abound of criminal activity associated with some of the local white supremacists.
Thank you for your time, and good luck over the next few years.