A neo-Nazi rally that had been threatened by a central Ohio organization to take place in Toledo tomorrow appears to have been canceled, or was never seriously intended in the first place.
Mayor Carty Finkbeiner said yesterday that authorities see no indication of neo-Nazis planning to assemble in the city.
"There is no confirming data that the previously reported visit to Toledo by members of the American National Socialist Workers' Party is going to take place this weekend," the mayor's statement said.
"Toledo police and other law enforcement agencies have monitored every possible network and reached this conclusion as of this date and time. I encourage our citizens to go about their normal routine this week, confident the city will protect their health, safety, and welfare," Mr. Finkbeiner said.
Justin Boyer, the Ohio chapter's leader, said July 27 he would bring a group to rally in the same North Toledo neighborhood where neo-Nazis tried to march in 2005. He promised to come to Toledo on Aug. 17 with up to 20 people in uniforms that include swastika armbands.
Mr. Boyer could not be reached yesterday for comment.
The Oct. 15, 2005, rally plans sparked a riot that injured an undetermined number of people and destroyed property, including a bar at East Central Avenue and Mulberry Street that became a symbol of the melee when it was looted and set ablaze. More than 120 people were arrested.
Bill White, the commander of the American National Socialist Workers Party based in Virginia, said, "We're not doing a rally and we've never intended on doing a rally in Ohio."
He said neo-Nazis have been distributing literature in Toledo each of the last two weekends. He would not identify the locations.
Councilman Michael Ashford, a Democrat whose Fourth District includes North Toledo, said the neo-Nazis may have been disappointed their threat didn't spark more of a reaction.
"Nobody took the bait. A lot of folks, elected officials including myself, were downplaying it," Mr. Ashford said.
Last Sunday, Mayor Finkbeiner ordered Wilson Park in North Toledo closed for six hours after about eight to 10 protesters tried to hold an impromptu demonstration against the threatened march.