Neo-Nazis Rally in Kansas City on Kristallnacht Anniversary
A Neo-Nazi group rallied outside of a Kansas City, MO courthouse over the weekend and ripped up a tallit (Jewish prayer shawl) in front of hundreds of booing counter-protestors, Vocativ reports.
The National Socialist Movement allegedly rallied outside the courthouse in commemoration of the 75th anniversary of Kristallnacht, a night of systemic pogroms against German Jews by the Nazi government and a historic marker signaling the beginning of the Holocaust. A video clip shows one Neo-Nazi ripping up the tallit behind a police barricade, to a chorus of boos and protests.
ABC News reports that the rally had been planned for several months. The movement, which claims to be "the political party for every white American," has allegedly teamed up with other white supremacist groups, including members of the white Christian group Aryan Nations, the Sadistic Souls Motorcycle Club and at least one affiliation of the Klu Klux Klan.
Jewish groups, tolerance groups, and grassroots organizations like Occupy Kansas City formed the counter-protest of the march, which outnumbered the neo-Nazis in at least a 3:1 ratio. Specific organizations behind the counter-protests included SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice), the Latino Coalition of Kansas City, and the Ida B Wells Coalition Against Racism and Police Brutality, among others.
Occupy Kansas City, which has over 8,000 followers on Facebook, fiercely opposed the event, declaring that "fascism is not to be discussed; it is to be smashed." The protest unfolded through live updates on Facebook and especially twitter, as participants shared many photos of counter-protests.
The ACLU has expressed concerns over the legality of a police cordon at the site, saying that closing off sidewalks due to the possibility of violence is not enough to prevent the expression of free speech, according to KCTV 5 News. They cited concerns over counter-protest restrictions, as well, including rules against posting signs and on picketing.