Just don’t go. That’s the message one University of Missouri hate group expert has for residents as a neo-nazi group plans to march in downtown Columbia on Saturday. The National Socialist Movement has a parade permit for Saturday from anytime between noon and 5 p.m. Assistant Professor Larry Brown says the white supremacist group typically targets communities that promote diversity, and tries to poke holes in that community acceptance and create disturbances. He says neo-nazis target issues such as controversy over immigration and fears stemming from terrorism to draw support from onlookers.
But, Brown says the community is actively positive alternatives to the demonstration. Residents can visit the website tolerance-dot-homestead-dot-com for an updated list of alternative events, which include a rally at the Boone County Courthouse at 11:00 a.m., a multicultural event – "Spark in the Park" – at Douglass Park from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m., and spiritual rally for a morning prayer walk on the neo-nazi’s parade route at 7:00 Saturday morning.
Brown encourages residents to participate in these alternate events. He says, often, the people who get arrested at protest marches are not the marchers but the residents who are resisting the marchers.
The professor says he will be giving a speech on the University of Missouri campus on White Nationalism at 3:30 on Saturday.