Neo-Nazi March Stirs Intense Feelings

1 decade 3 years 3 weeks ago Sunday, March 11 2007 Mar 11, 2007 Sunday, March 11, 2007 5:51:15 PM CDT March 11, 2007 in News
"The turnout seems to be pretty good," said Steve Boswell an NSM member. "We've gotten tremendous support from the people of Columbia already and the white students of MU."

Once on the streets of downtown, the group shouted its message.

"We are campaigning for office. We are serious about what we believe. We believe America is the greatest country in the world," said members.

Most of the people lining the sidewalks downtown Columbia were anything but supporters and members of the community chose different ways to show their opposing views.

"They want us to feed into the negativity," said Ashley Yates of the Legion of Black Collegians. "They want us to feed hate with hate, and I'm not here to feed hate and my fist in the air means power to everybody."

This on-the-move shouting match was just that for the most part, but some went too far. In two skirmishes, police in riot gear warned they'd use pepper spray and they did. Police arrested those who became violent or stood in the way.

Shortly after the march the group left town heading south to what they called a private party east of Jefferson City.

Columbia police say officers arrested seven people Saturday on charges ranging from trespassing and resisting arrest to assaulting a police officer.

The National Socialist Movement claims to be the largest and most active socialist group in the nation.Police in Toledo blame members of the movement for mass riots there in 2005. More than two dozen neo-Nazi protesters marched in a racially diverse neighborhood resulting in fires and looting.

The group is planning what it's calling its largest demonstration yet next month in South Carolina.The topic is illegal immigration, and the socialist movement recently announced John Bowles, the group's leader, as a presidential candidate for 2008.

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