(Toledo, OH) Members of Toledo trade unions and progressive activists who have not joined the TUAR (Toledo United Against Racism) announced their intention to form an "alternative" protest against the arrival of the National Socialist Movement (NSM) on Saturday December 10.
The loose coalition of allied activists is urging citizens unhappy with police plans to create an enclosed zone for anti-Nazi protesters to gather instead at local library branches.
"The police have left us no other choice," said a spokesperson for the group. "People who want to stand up against the racist ideology of the Nazis either have to get herded into a cage, or they can join us for an alternative protest."
The spokesperson declined to name affiliated organizations, and would only indicate that some members of the group will create an "alternative media spectacle."
In related news, members of the heretofore unknown anti-Nazi group "type A collective" issued a new communique. I am again publishing it without commentary:
Thank you for, as promised, presenting our communique in a purely objective fashion. Your integrity as a journalist is appreciated.
With regard to our intention with the letter to Mayor Ford, it was hoped that we could reason with him. In all fairness we were simply hoping that he would keep his word to prevent the NSM from returning.
And, while we can certainly understand how some of our language may have been construed as threatening, in actuality we were genuinely showing concern for what might happen if this rally is allowed to proceed as planned. With or without our intervention, I think it should be clear after last time that the possible outcome is beyond the control of any one group or person, including us. Contrary to the
opinions of some, we don't want to see innocent people hurt or the property of innocent people damaged.
That being said, it is important for people to be out in the streets that day to oppose these racists. To say that it is harmless to let them hold their rally unopposed is to make the mistake of believing that there are not those prone to being persuaded by their message. Racism is alive and well in the world today, and people who for some reason believe that we are past the point where these groups present a threat are dangerously mistaken.
Let us also not be mistaken as somehow trying to prevent free speech. Free speech, even in a legal sense, arguably ends with purposely inciting violence (in this case against minorities) and promoting genocide. So, even legally, these people are beyond their rights. In addition, we would welcome them to come here without the police protection that they are not required to get but are granted anyway. People have the right to say whatever they want, those listening have a right to defend themselves from the potential consequences.
Its easy for those who have never been assaulted by police for standing on their own lawn, or been to the funeral of a relative killed by police for being black to say that the police are "just doing their job". Certainly, some of them are. But there are also those who are very supportive, if not merely receptive, to racist groups. We should not condone these attitudes and behavior with our apathy.
type A collective
Addendum: An email I received from a spokesperson from the "alternative" anti-Nazi protest indicates that some of the TUAR groups may be defecting to the counter-counter rally (Yes, this is getting confusing, but there appear to be a ton of people showing up on Saturday). The email said that members of "RWL, NROC , WWP and other groups have signed on" to the unnnamed alternate coalition that will be meeting at local library branches at 12:00 noon on Saturday.