Buffalo, N.Y. (Jan. 14)
A spokesman for the Jewish Federation of Greater Buffalo said today that the Federation’s recommendation to Buffalo Jews to boycott a rally planned by a local neo-Nazi group and a counter-rally by the Martin Luther King Day Coalition here tomorrow remained in effect despite refusal by a Federal District Court to issue an injunction limiting the scope of the neo-Nazi activities. Tomorrow is the 52nd birthday of the slain Black leader.
Judge John Elfein handed down his decision yesterday, rejecting the request for an injunction to curtail rally activities of the neo-Nazis on constitutional grounds. He held that the neo-Nazis had not chosen the time and place for their demonstration in Niagara Square “to commit or provoke physical violence.”
The injunction Elfein refused to issue would have barred the neo-Nazis from passing out inflammatory material or making racist statements at the rally.
A number of other King commemorative events are planned for tomorrow, the main one being a city-wide assembly in Lafayette Square. Other events are a concert tribute to King’s memory tomorrow and a Jan. 18 meeting sponsored by B’nai B’rith at the Jewish Community Center. The Federation asked Jews to attend only those three events.
In a letter mailed last Friday to all 7000 Buffalo Jewish families, the Federation urged local Jews to attend the Lafayette Square program, at noon, organized by the City’s Black Leadership Forum, comprised of all major Black organizations in the city, according to Gail Kaplan, Federation president. The Lafayette Square rally is being cosponsored by the National Conference of Christians and Jews and by many other community organizations, including the Federation, Mrs. Kaplan said.
LARGE-SCALE SURVEILLANCE PLANNED
Despite the federal Judge’s opinion that the neo-Nazis did not plan violence, plans reportedly have been completed to have surveillance of the Niagara meeting by helicopters, county police and possibly FBI agents, some to be stationed at windows looking down on Niagara Square.
A group called the Martin Luther King Day Coalition planned a demonstration at the same time in Niagara Square. Mayor James Griffin had refused to issue a permit to either group for the Niagara Square rally but both groups indicated they would ignore the permit refusal, a key factor in the decision of a group of officials and residents to seek the injunction.