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Old 06-12-2019, 11:09 PM
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Nazis at a Pride parade - How, exactly?


Recently there was some controversy about a group of nazis disrupting a Pride parade in Detroit by staging their own march, while escorted by police. All debates aside (note the forum), I'm confused about how this happens. Doesn't whatever LGBT organization organizes Detroit's Pride march apply for and receive some sort of permit? And while I understand that the city might not legally be able to deny a similar permit to a group of nazis based solely on their views, surely they don't have to grant them a permit for the same streets at the same time, right? And if the nazis insist on marching down a street that's currently closed for a parade, without a permit of their own, can't they be arrested? Did the Detroit police department simply choose not to exercise that option? Or am I misunderstanding how the law works in this case?

From what I was able to find online, it appears that the government can legally require permits for parades and rallies (at least if they're issued in a content-neutral way):
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The Supreme Court in the 1992 case of Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement, held that a government entity may require permits for those wishing to hold a parade, march, or rally on public streets or other public forums.
(Source: https://civilrights.uslegal.com/righ...-restrictions/ ) And moreover, it appears the city of Detroit does have such a requirement:
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A Petitioner is required to obtain a Special Events Permit from the Detroit City Council to conduct any event in the public right-of-way [...] Events that do not need to follow this process are: Residential Block Parties and Private Invitation Only events held inside a private facility.
[bold in original] (Source: https://detroitmi.gov/departments/me...special-events )

This seems to support my suspicion that the police could have stopped the nazis for not having a permit. Am I missing something here?
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:49 PM
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Any chance you can share a link to a news article about this?
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Old 06-12-2019, 11:54 PM
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Recently there was some controversy about a group of nazis disrupting a Pride parade in Detroit by staging their own march, while escorted by police...
After doing an online search on this it appears the part bolded above is not accurate. My reading of the coverage in Newsweek indicates the Nazis were simply in attendance at the parade with everyone else. The police escort appears to be for their protection. I see nothing to show they were staging their own march.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:02 AM
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I first heard about it from a YouTube video objecting to some of the ways people have responded to the incident. But here's one of the articles I found when I searched for info on what had happened:

https://m.metrotimes.com/news-hits/a...tor-city-pride

Quote:
The nation looked on with disbelief and anger as social media lit up with photos and videos of armed neo-Nazis marching in downtown Detroit with what appeared to be police protection during Motor City Pride this weekend.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:11 AM
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After doing an online search on this it appears the part bolded above is not accurate. My reading of the coverage in Newsweek indicates the Nazis were simply in attendance at the parade with everyone else. The police escort appears to be for their protection. I see nothing to show they were staging their own march.
That Newsweek article contains a link to this one, which describes them as marching:
https://www.newsweek.com/armed-neo-n...parade-1443013
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:17 AM
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Read this from the Detroit Free Press:
https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/...de/1412498001/

Essentially, the Nazis were protesters. Antifa was also there. The Nazis wanted to turn this into Charlottesville II. The Detroit police kept it under control. People have now claimed the DPD where either escorting the Nazis or marching with them. Both are untrue.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:19 AM
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What were the Nazis actually doing? Like, do you generally need a permit to "march," if your "march" consists only of ordinary activities like walking down the sidewalk while obeying crosswalk signals? You need a permit to hold a parade because shutting down the street and sending floats down the center is normally illegal.

Last edited by Lord Feldon; 06-13-2019 at 12:20 AM.
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Old 06-13-2019, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Lendervedder View Post
Read this from the Detroit Free Press:
https://www.freep.com/story/opinion/...de/1412498001/

Essentially, the Nazis were protesters. Antifa was also there. The Nazis wanted to turn this into Charlottesville II. The Detroit police kept it under control. People have now claimed the DPD where either escorting the Nazis or marching with them. Both are untrue.
I read that opinion piece. I took the author's use of "free speech" to mean the police could not legally have prevented the nazis from marching (because usually that's what "free speech" in America means - speech protected from government interference). I am questioning, though, whether that's factually accurate, because so far as I can tell, a content-neutral "they have a permit and you don't, so get lost" is actually constitutional.

I'm not trying to debate what the police did or didn't do, but rather to ask what they legally could have done. Some of the online conversation (including that piece) seems to suggest the police didn't have much choice, because it's "free speech". I at least found one example of a Supreme Court case that seems to suggest otherwise. But, I'm not a lawyer, and maybe I have it wrong.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Lord Feldon View Post
What were the Nazis actually doing? Like, do you generally need a permit to "march," if your "march" consists only of ordinary activities like walking down the sidewalk while obeying crosswalk signals? You need a permit to hold a parade because shutting down the street and sending floats down the center is normally illegal.
I suspect you'd need a permit to obstruct a street, whether or not floats were involved. But if their "marching" was in fact entirely on sidewalks and legal crossings, maybe that explains it. I've only been able to find small snipets of video, so I don't know if that's the case.
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Old 06-13-2019, 01:30 AM
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The article said that there were approximately 15 people in the Nazi "march." IMHO, it would seem rather odd to require 15 people to get a permit to show up and walk along with another demonstration in protest.

I realize that we could get into a debate about how if 100 people would require a permit, but 15 would not, then how about 30, 50, or 70. Further, the article doesn't mention if the Nazi group actually used the public streets, but even if it did, they were closed anyways for the Pride parade.

I guess I just have a problem if the government was able to tell 15 people who showed up at an event to protest that it had to "go home" because it didn't have a permit. I mean, I could fit 15 people over for dinner. That seems an overburdensome intrusion on free speech.
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Old 06-13-2019, 05:19 AM
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In the UK, under The Riot Act (1715 and repealed in 1973) it was established that a group of more than twelve people who were "unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together" failed to disperse within one hour [of the RA being read], then anyone remaining gathered was guilty of a felony without benefit of clergy, punishable by death.

Maybe the death penalty (especially "without benefit of clergy) would be coming it a bit strong, even for Nazis, but it might establish that 12 is a sufficient number of people.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:51 AM
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Police can break up disruptive groups far smaller than 15 people, though. It's silly to call it freedom of speech for Nazis but not for teens just being disruptive.
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Old 06-14-2019, 10:50 AM
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Every year at our Pride Parade there are the usual religious protestors on street corners with signs and bullhorns. The last few years I've noticed an additional contingent that tends to "march" along with the parade on the sidewalks or more commonly on the street near the sidewalks b/c our Pride Parade rocks and the sidewalks the entire route are jam packed. Usually there is a police presence near/around them as they protest along the parade route but you'd have to really twist yourself around to depict it as the police were marching with the protestors in support. They are there, protecting both the parade participants, spectators, and protestors because as you can imagine the religious protestors presence and actions are not exactly ignored or quietly welcomed. It reminds me of the Detroit situation, which saddens me greatly, but my immediate assumption despite attempts to spin it otherwise, is the police were doing their jobs in providing protection for everyone in a very volatile situation.

By the way, one of my favorite counter-protests is that groups now counter protest by showing up in angel garb with large wings. They'll move along the parade route and stand directly in front of any religious protest group, raise their wings, and completely obscure the religious protestors from view. It is beautiful, peaceful, and an elegant response to their hate.

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Old 06-14-2019, 11:15 AM
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Police can break up disruptive groups far smaller than 15 people, though. It's silly to call it freedom of speech for Nazis but not for teens just being disruptive.
Define "disruptive." It is not illegal to congregate in groups of 15. If police were to try to disband a group of 15 people (who are not breaking the law, advocating violence or yelling threats) simply because they disagree with their beliefs, then we no longer have freedom of speech.

I am always dismayed in these threads when people approve of tactics like this, including the one above where we block views of people at a protest. That sounds fun and nice to show those people that we hate how we will marginalize them, but once you do that, the die has been cast and next it will be you who these tactics are used against. I wish people would stop trying to shout down voices. Argue? Absolutely! Attempt to exclude? Absolutely not.
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Old 06-14-2019, 11:17 AM
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But angel wings blocking the counter-protesters is precisely preventing the counter-protestors from shouting down the original group.
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Old 06-14-2019, 12:09 PM
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But angel wings blocking the counter-protesters is precisely preventing the counter-protestors from shouting down the original group.
I'll admit ignorance to the law in this area. Let's say I get on a soap box in a public park and give an eloquent speech about how the mopery law should be repealed. In my attempt to do so another guy shows up and gives his own speech, talking over me, about how the mopery laws are needed for the safety of the public. There are no threats of violence or any of the exceptions to the First Amendment present.

Who is in the wrong? So, if I bring people to stand near him (but not near enough that he reasonably fears for his safety) to drown out his voice is that okay? What if he does the same to me?

At some point in this tit for tat, there may be 20 people all talking over each other and no message getting out, and tempers rising. But at the same time, we cannot mandate that everyone else listen in respectful silence while I drone on about repealing the mopery law.
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:07 PM
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In the UK, under The Riot Act (1715 and repealed in 1973) it was established that a group of more than twelve people who were "unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together" failed to disperse within one hour [of the RA being read], then anyone remaining gathered was guilty of a felony without benefit of clergy, punishable by death.

Maybe the death penalty (especially "without benefit of clergy) would be coming it a bit strong, even for Nazis, but it might establish that 12 is a sufficient number of people.
Suffice it to say, the US never had such a law. (Or, I doubt that such a law stood up against the Bill of Rights for very long if somehow it was passed.)

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Old 06-14-2019, 01:26 PM
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The First Amendment protects rioting?
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Old 06-14-2019, 01:31 PM
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The First Amendment protects rioting?
Of course not. Where was rioting mentioned in the thread?
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:02 PM
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Post 11 discusses the Riot Act, which was aimed at cutting off actual riots in progress.

Post 17 says such a law would be contrary to the Bill of Rights, which I took to mean the First Amendement, leading to my question in Post 18.
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Old 06-14-2019, 02:42 PM
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The First Amendment protects rioting?
In a sense, I would expect. What's to stop an officer from saying that he saw the person about to destroy something, or whatever? "Rioting" is a relatively subjective thing, versus "broke a window" or "set something on fire", and it could simply be treated as a term that means "protesting in a way that we don't like".

Granted, there are a few similar distinctions in law. Serial killers are eligible to be prosecuted for a slightly more extreme form of murder than your average killer; people who murder in the name of ISIS are convicted of foreign terrorism, while a person murders in the name of the KKK are just murderers; and so on. So long as you can define the term "riot" tightly enough to distinguish it from "protesting", it's probably possible to set up a specific "riot" law that adds on above destruction of property and arson.

But, murder isn't a protected right, whereas protesting is. That makes that a harder proposition - let alone adding on the death penalty to it. It would be reasonable to say that the death penalty would have a chilling effect on anyone even considering a peaceable protest. The Supreme Court would be liable to consider that.

I'm sure that there has been some LEO somewhere in time who told people they had to go home or he'd shoot them, back in the Old West or whenever. And I wouldn't be too too surprised if a city statute was passed somewhere. But I'd be relatively surprised if there was one at the state level, and astonished if it survived a Supreme Court review.

Certainly I'm open to being proved wrong, but the 1st Amendment has been strongly defended through the duration of the nation, without lapse, so far as I've ever seen. Outside of some small rules like being unable to name your child "I hate Jews" or inciting violence, there's not a lot that has ever trumped it.

Incitement to riot is a thing, but it doesn't appear to be a particularly large crime.
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Old 06-14-2019, 03:03 PM
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They are there, protecting both the parade participants, spectators, and protestors because as you can imagine the religious protestors presence and actions are not exactly ignored or quietly welcomed. It reminds me of the Detroit situation, which saddens me greatly, but my immediate assumption despite attempts to spin it otherwise, is the police were doing their jobs in providing protection for everyone in a very volatile situation.
Exactly correct. If there's a small (defined by the police) group of assholes or non-assholes moving down the sidewalk along with the parade and yelling shit, the thing that makes the most sense is to have a moving cordon with them. Until it doesn't.
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Old 06-14-2019, 05:37 PM
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Around here, many protests consist of a group of people walking on the sidewalk, usually yelling the same thing in unison, with some carrying signs. They don't step in the street except at marked crosswalks, and then only with the light. In fact, this is the way organized picket lines are set up. Yell, but don't block driveways or intersections.
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Old 06-14-2019, 06:58 PM
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There are certainly laws against rioting. California's anti-rioting law is pretty broad; basically any disturbance caused by more than one person is a riot: "Any use of force or violence . . . or any threat to use force and violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by two or more persons acting together, and without authority of law, is a riot." Yes, two people can constitute a riot. Furthermore, there is a law against attempted rioting, which is a little hard to imagine occurring.

http://loweringthebar.net/2010/11/rioting-sf-style.html
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Old 06-14-2019, 07:05 PM
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There are certainly laws against rioting. California's anti-rioting law is pretty broad; basically any disturbance caused by more than one person is a riot: "Any use of force or violence . . . or any threat to use force and violence, if accompanied by immediate power of execution, by two or more persons acting together, and without authority of law, is a riot." Yes, two people can constitute a riot. Furthermore, there is a law against attempted rioting, which is a little hard to imagine occurring.

http://loweringthebar.net/2010/11/rioting-sf-style.html
No death penalty and fairly clearly defined as an incitement to commit arson or violence. No actual relationship to protesting (e.g. assembling). You could charge someone with "rioting" at a dance party, where someone decided to violently crash the evening.

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Old 06-14-2019, 07:20 PM
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I am questioning, though, whether that's factually accurate, because so far as I can tell, a content-neutral "they have a permit and you don't, so get lost" is actually constitutional.
That works if what both groups were doing required a permit. It's not even really about adjudicating between permits at that point. If a group is doing something that should require a permit and they don't have one they can be told to get out.

The Toledo Riots of 2005 show a problem with that. The Neo-Nazi march through a majority minority neighborhood didn't require a permit. They intentionally constrained themselves to public sidewalks. There was nothing in the law that required a group of a couple of dozen people to get a permit to go on an entirely legal walk together. That they also chose to carry signs was irrelevant. Basically they worked right up to the limits of what they could do legally without having to go through the permitting process. The police couldn't stop them from going on their walk in advance; it was perfectly legal. While the neo-nazis were still forming up to start their walk by where they parked things were already escalating towards violence. At that point they lawfully ordered the Nazis to leave and gave them a police escort out of town for their safety. The police also ordered the Anti-Racist Action counter protesters and angry people living in the neighborhood to disperse. That order took a little bit longer and had to be implemented by force. The actual rioting was by the counter-protesters after the neo-Nazis were long gone.

The neo-Nazi organization involved in that incident was the National Socialist Movement based in Detroit, Michigan. Guess which group planned this event in Detroit? Yep the same one. I suspect their plan didn't require a permit. It's a proven technique for them. There may even have been some of the same people involved in both the Toledo riot and this event.

Last edited by DinoR; 06-14-2019 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 06-14-2019, 09:38 PM
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That works if what both groups were doing required a permit. It's not even really about adjudicating between permits at that point. If a group is doing something that should require a permit and they don't have one they can be told to get out.

The Toledo Riots of 2005 show a problem with that. The Neo-Nazi march through a majority minority neighborhood didn't require a permit. They intentionally constrained themselves to public sidewalks. There was nothing in the law that required a group of a couple of dozen people to get a permit to go on an entirely legal walk together. That they also chose to carry signs was irrelevant. Basically they worked right up to the limits of what they could do legally without having to go through the permitting process. The police couldn't stop them from going on their walk in advance; it was perfectly legal. While the neo-nazis were still forming up to start their walk by where they parked things were already escalating towards violence. At that point they lawfully ordered the Nazis to leave and gave them a police escort out of town for their safety. The police also ordered the Anti-Racist Action counter protesters and angry people living in the neighborhood to disperse. That order took a little bit longer and had to be implemented by force. The actual rioting was by the counter-protesters after the neo-Nazis were long gone.

The neo-Nazi organization involved in that incident was the National Socialist Movement based in Detroit, Michigan. Guess which group planned this event in Detroit? Yep the same one. I suspect their plan didn't require a permit. It's a proven technique for them. There may even have been some of the same people involved in both the Toledo riot and this event.
But that is the heckler's veto that causes the problem. Forget about the labels because the government must be neutral to speech.

As you concede, nothing at all illegal about a group of people walking down the sidewalks and holding signs. But then another group gathers and threatens violence against the first group and the police order the first group to leave town.

The lesson learned: The way to shut someone up is to threaten them. That's not right.
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Old 06-15-2019, 09:16 AM
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The poor poor nazis.
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Old 06-15-2019, 10:16 AM
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The poor poor nazis.
Did you miss the part about how government has to be neutral to speech? It is easy to not have sympathy for some groups until that group is "Democrats."

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Old 06-15-2019, 11:03 AM
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In the UK, under The Riot Act (1715 and repealed in 1973) it was established that a group of more than twelve people who were "unlawfully, riotously, and tumultuously assembled together" failed to disperse within one hour [of the RA being read], then anyone remaining gathered was guilty of a felony without benefit of clergy, punishable by death.

Maybe the death penalty (especially "without benefit of clergy) would be coming it a bit strong, even for Nazis, but it might establish that 12 is a sufficient number of people.
I'd seen the phrase but didn't know what it meant: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit_of_clergy
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Old 06-15-2019, 11:20 AM
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I'd seen the phrase but didn't know what it meant: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benefit_of_clergy
And you'll notice how it evolved: it eventually had nothing at all to do with being a member of the clergy or anything of the sort. It was simply a mechanism to mitigate the harshness of the penalty, usually death for fairly minor crimes, and allow mercy.

Then the tug of war developed by legislators wanting to be tough on a particular crime and eliminating it for their pet crime.

You see this today. Laws allow people to be placed on probation. Oh yeah, says the legislature? Not a violation of this law you can't! Okay, well, we will just do pre-trial diversions and deferred adjudications. Oh yeah, says the legislature? Not for these crimes you can't. Okay, well, we will just hold them open and formally dismiss them after a time. Not if you want funding for the courts, says the legislature.

Same with expungements. Not for this crime, says the legislature. Rinse and repeat.
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Old 06-15-2019, 06:52 PM
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But that is the heckler's veto that causes the problem.
For the group involved they seem to treat it as if the the hecklers were handing them a megaphone. They got most of their attention because of the counter protest getting violent.

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But then another group gathers and threatens violence against the first group and the police order the first group to leave town.

The lesson learned: The way to shut someone up is to threaten them. That's not right.
The police also ordered the other group to disperse. Leaving town was more problematic because it involved both outside protesters and residents of the area. Sorting out which was which wasn't really possible at that point. They did become the point for all of the actual use of force and arrests so there was some balance. One group got shut up and went home to have a beer and high five. The other got shut up with riot batons, tear gas, and hand cuffs. The residents also got their neighborhood torn up. The lesson learned in Toledo is that there's a real cost associated with shutting someone up by threat instead of mere heckling.

It's still one of the difficult problems. Till someone does something illegal the police are effectively hamstrung.

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Old Yesterday, 08:32 PM
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Define "disruptive." It is not illegal to congregate in groups of 15. If police were to try to disband a group of 15 people (who are not breaking the law, advocating violence or yelling threats) simply because they disagree with their beliefs, then we no longer have freedom of speech.

I am always dismayed in these threads when people approve of tactics like this, including the one above where we block views of people at a protest. That sounds fun and nice to show those people that we hate how we will marginalize them, but once you do that, the die has been cast and next it will be you who these tactics are used against. I wish people would stop trying to shout down voices. Argue? Absolutely! Attempt to exclude? Absolutely not.
The crime is known as "disorderly conduct" and is deliberately ill defined in order to allow cops to define it as they see fit. Cops can just see a group of people, suspect they are up to no good, and come in and tell them to disperse. Since there is no arrest, and little chance at a lawsuit, there is effectively no oversight for this power other than the community's distaste.

If you want to get upset about a freedom being abridged, it would be freedom of assembly, not speech. But cops have a ton of latitude on that. Even as far back as the 1970s protesters were complaining about how freedom of assembly didn't really mean anything. They could just be declared disruptive and told to disband. It has nothing to do with the content of their speech.

The rest of your post is hard to discuss without going into GD argument, so I'll instead just try to keep it brief. . I would argue your ideology tolerates intolerance, while mine does not. It is the one valid exception, due to its paradoxical nature. And I think my ideology is closer to the real world, as Nazism has been defeated in the marketplace of ideas, but continues to grow in number and power.

I'm not afraid of the bogeyman of a legitimate political party being treated the same as the Nazis. It doesn't pass the ideological test--the ideas are sufficiently different--and it doesn't pass the real world test: hate speech laws don't stop political parties in other countries, and anti-discrimination law hasn't led to people of one political party being banned.

They just aren't the same thing, and should not be treated as such. Some ideas, like "I should be able to kill children" are actually evil. And Nazism is just "I should be able to kill Jews and gay people and Roma and ..." with some excuses thrown in.

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Old Yesterday, 09:33 PM
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Lemme see: a few peaceful participants walked in the Pride parade. No shouting, no signs, no trouble. Can we be sure the were not Nazis in the Ernst Röhm mold, just out to lend support and firepower to the movement? Sure, their shirts were black, not brown, but I know how hard it is to find a brown shirt in that size. For an autumn parade they might break out the Hugo Boss.

It's fun to ascribe motives, both negative and positive, to the actions of others as we sit at some remove, but we should not "marry" our assumptions, 'til death us do part. Keep an open mind and look at all the possibilities; that way when the popular motive is wrong we can stand up with pride and say, "I knew that."
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