Not in Our Town

1 decade 2 years 11 months ago Thursday, August 23 2007 Aug 23, 2007 Thursday, August 23, 2007 2:11:04 PM CDT August 23, 2007 in News

Some Columbians say they'll remember March 10 forever.

"It was an overt act of racism, them marching," said Columbia resident James Smith.

That day a group of nearly two dozen Neo-Nazis marched downtown, attracting hundreds of protestors who chanted, "Not in our town". It was a slogan based on a documentary film of the same name.

"The documentary, the stories are about exactly what we dealt with," said Nanette Ward from the Human Rights Commission.

Originally telling the story of a small Montana town's fight against an upsurge in hate crimes in 1993, "Not in Our Town" has become a series of documentary films produced for PBS.

"The film showed some other towns and how they reacted to it. You know, I thought our town had a really good reaction," said Smith.

Columbia's Human Rights Commission holds meetings to screen the films throughout Columbia.The screenings have become a forum for people to express their hopes and fears about local racism.

"Because it's a powerful video, it's empowering, people look at it and say 'you know, we went through that. We rallied together and stood up against hate,'" said Ward.

Nanette Ward and others believe "Not in our Town" isn't just a film, it's a film that became a movement that unified her town.

The Human Rights Commission will hold it's next screening of "Not in our Town" Oct. 17.

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