Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Rockwell Arrested in Chicago March; Was Refused Permit to Parade

September 12, 1966
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

George Rockwell, the American Nazi, was arrested here yesterday by Chicago police as he led a march of his Nazi followers in Gage Park, an all-Negro section of Chicago. Police also arrested a Los Angeles man, Ralph Forbes, on charges of trying to interfere with Rockwell’s arrest, A man named Ralph Forbes headed an American Nazi Party headquarters in Glendale, California.

Rockwell sought in federal district court yesterday to obtain a court order to force the city of Chicago to give him a permit for a parade. In denying the request. Judge Joseph Sam Perry said Rockwell had failed to show that the denial of the permit was unreasonable. The Nazi said he would lead a group of his Nazis into the all-Negro neighborhood without the permit and did so. His parade was one of the counter-demonstrations against marches by Negroes into all-white neighborhoods in protest against segregated housing.

Judge Perry also denied a Rockwell petition for an order to bar Cook County from prosecuting Rockwell on disorderly conduct charges. Rockwell was arrested August 29 on disorderly conduct charges by Sheriff Richard Ogilvie, who had promised to arrest Rock well on sight if he came to Chicago. Rockwell filed suit to have the charge dropped on grounds it was “illegal and unconstitutional. Judge Perry said Rockwell had failed to show he could not get a fair trial in Chicago.


The judge also denied a request by the Jewish War Veterans for an order to prevent Nazis from holding “white power” rallies and marches in Chicago on Saturday. He left the way open for appeal. The JWV said the rallies and marches would be an incitement to riot.

Judge Perry said the feeling for free speech in this country was so strong that he felt “we must give every American the right to exercise it.” He was shown literature which the Nazis had distributed through Chicago neighborhoods. He described the material as “objectionable, offensive, abusive and incentive of riot and revolution.”

Recommended from JTA