NEW YORK (Jun. 28)
Between 800 and 1000 Jewish Defense League (JDL) members plan to prevent the National Socialist Party (NSP) march from taking place on July 4 in Skokie, a heavily Jewish-populated Chicago suburb, Bonnie Pechter, JDL national director, said today. She told a press conference here that the NSP “will not get past the first step and however they have to be stopped, they will be stopped.”
We will use whatever kind of violence” is necessary “to stop the march, if it means taking a baseball bat,” said Ms. Pechter as she picked up one of several bats which had JDL stickers on them. She described the JDL members who are to participate in the protest as “strong, experienced fighters.” She said the JDL will have “effective” weapons, but “we will avoid illegal things.”
JDL members throughout the United States will be in Skokie to protest the march, Ms. Pechter said When asked how many non-members would be participating, she said that between 220 and 230 persons had called the JDL about the march, but she did not know of any other Jewish organizations that would be in Skokie, while “a variety of Nazi groups amounting to several hundred” persons would be marching. Ms. Pechter said it was “the greatest tragedy and beyond the realm of comprehension” that Jewish groups could unite on “non-Jewish issues” such as abortion and gay rights. “If they could just unite on something Jewish,” she said.
“The JDL believes in the First Amendment but Nazis have no rights,” because they deny others freedom of speech and “espouse genocide,” Ms. Pechter said. She said the NSP’s decision to march in Skokie, where 7000 concentration camp survivors live, was an “obscenity.” Referring to the existence of the NSP, Ms. Pechter said it was not only a Jewish problem, as the NSP is against all minorities.