Left: Lansing police officer gets ready for the NSM rally, courtesy of Lansing State Journal
(Lansing, MI) The early results are in from Nazifest 2006 in Lansing, and it looks like the NSM has produced another expensive (for taxpayers) dud. No surprise there.
The most accurate counts I have seen so far point to a total of 77 Nazis and assorted white nationalists in attendance at the rally on the steps of the Michigan state capitol. This is a far cry from the 200 predicted by NSM spokesman Bill White, although White's counting methods suggest that the man may be cross-eyed.
The estimates I have read suggest a cost of $250,000 to Lansing and the state of Michigan, which works out to a cost of $3,246 to protect each Nazi from getting their skulls kicked in by throngs of protesters.
In a way this rally was more cost-effective than some of the previous NSM circuses. The two Toledo rallies cost, respectively, $12,692 and $7,895 per Nazi in protection costs (based upon turnouts of 26 Nazis at Toledo I and 38 at Toledo II, with security costs of $330K and $300K).
The best news, though, is that injuries and property damage were minimal. A Lansing State Journal reporter saw an early scuffle in which a protester sustained a head laceration, and reports indicate that both sides were, in the main, orderly and law-abiding.
OK - the most important part - assessing my predictions:
Historymike predicted...45 Nazis, 77 showed up.
Historymike predicted... Bill White would say 190 Nazis, but so far he says 160. I could win this one, since his counts usually grow as time passes.
Historymike predicted...600 antis, and 800 showed up, plus 500 people at the diversity rally.
Historymike predicted...36 arrests, only 15 so far.
I say that my reputation as the Midwest's preeminnent Nazi rally handicapper is still intact. Nikki and Harry Schwartz still reign as champs worldwide.