August 22, 2007

A Neo-Nazi Resurgence Tests Speech Limits

From a grisly “execution” video to clashes over protest rallies, officials and ideologues tread dangerous ground as neo-Nazi activists seek to push their agenda in Europe and the United States.

In Russia, a student was arrested for posting a video that appears to document the execution-style beheading and shooting of two purported Central Asian immigrants.

The Guardian reports that racist and neo-Nazi crimes in Russia are up 22 percent compared to last year.

Previous incidents there include an assault on an environmentalist camp that left one person dead and nine injured.

Germany remains intolerant of neo-Nazi activity, and banned a march memorializing Rudolph Hess, the Third Reich’s second-in- command, who committed suicide in prison in 1987.

Protests against the ban on the march, however, have moved forward in some German cities, including Munich.

Though a planned Hess memorial there was shut down, neo-Nazis did rally successfully against a law preventing “public incitement,” reports Deutsche Welle.

Agence France-Presse reports that after German officials banned a march for Hess in the town where he is buried, neo-Nazis went to Denmark, where the symbols and language of German fascism are legal.

Their march spurred clashes with local anarchists, resulting in almost 60 arrests, mostly of counterdemonstrators who attacked a car belonging to a neo-Nazi.

In the United States, the mayor of Toledo closed a local park for six hours rather than let counterdemonstrators protest against a neo-Nazi rally expected for this Friday.

A city official said the intent was to avoid drawing more attention to the neo-Nazis.

A similar rally in 2005 also drew counterprotestors, and erupted into a riot that saw a bar burned down and 100 arrests.

Sources:

“Student arrested over Russian neo-Nazi ‘execution’ video”
Guardian (U.K.), August 16, 2007

“Park shut down by mayor to thwart rally”
Toledo Blade, August 13, 2007

“Clashes mark Nazi’s death anniversary”
Agence France-Presse, August 19, 2007

“German Neo-Nazis Fail in Fight to March for Hitler’s Deputy”
Deutsche Welle (Germany), August 17, 2007

Comments are closed.