CHICAGO (Jul. 9)
A confrontation between a local American Nazi group and some 1500 counter-demonstrators was averted today when police refused to allow the anti-Nazis into Marquette Park, the site of the Nazi rally. Frank Collin, head of the National Socialist Party of America, then spoke on white power to a crowd of people inside the park, which is in the center of an area that has been the scene of racial trouble between White and Black residents, and predicted a “White revolution.”
The counter-demonstration, comprised local religious, ethnic, civil rights and community groups, was refused entrance into the park by some 100 helmeted riot police on the grounds they did not have a permit to demonstrate. The Nazis had received a permit after a federal court ruled the Chicago Park District could not require them to post a $60,000 bond. Supreme Court Judge William Brennan on Friday refused to delay today’s rally until the parks district could appeal the lower court decision to the 7th U.S. Court of Appeals.
The police at first were going to let about 40 of the counter-demonstrators into the park but when members of the Jewish Defense League and the Martin Luther King Jr. group, a militant Black organization, rushed to the front, they decided against letting anyone in. About six persons were arrested.
The Nazi rally, which included some 20 uniformed Nazis, itself lasted only about 20 minutes. Among those who were in the park at the same time were some of Collin’s supporters who yelled “Jews go home,” “Jews go back to Skokie.” Some Jews were also in the park crowd, and signs stating “Never again” were seen.
The organized Jewish community decided not to officially participate in the counter-demonstration although some Jewish groups did. Many Jews felt they made their point in Skokie. Mayor Michael Bilandic had also urged that the counter-demonstration be called off. It was these admonishments that may have brought a smaller turnout of anti-Nazis than there were when Collin appeared in front of the Federal Building in downtown Chicago June 24. The Marquette Park area is made up mostly of Irish, Lithuanian, German, Polish and other European ethnic groups who have feared the encroachment of poor Blacks from the neighboring areas.