March 11, 1998 in Nation/World

Jewish Activists Denied Parade Permit Mayor Says They Can’t March When Aryans Are In Town

By The Spokesman-Review
 

The Jewish Defense League cannot stage a countermarch during a proposed Aryan Nations parade next month, city officials said Tuesday.

The league says it will fight that ruling and is asking the American Civil Liberties Union for help.

Mayor Steve Judy denied the league’s application to hold a parade on Sherman Avenue on April 18 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because it’s the same time and place requested by the Aryan Nations.

“We don’t have to grant two parade permits for the same time and same location,” Judy said. “We don’t have the manpower and we don’t have the resources.”

The city believes a U.S. Supreme Court ruling supports that position, Judy said.

In a brief letter, the mayor told the league it can apply to march on another weekend. He still is considering whether to grant the Aryan Nations’ request to hold a parade in honor of Adolf Hitler’s birthday.

Aryan leader Richard Butler did not return telephone calls seeking comment on Tuesday.

The dueling permits raise more than scheduling conflicts. Tuesday morning, before he knew the permit had been denied, the national director of the Jewish Defense League promised a confrontation aimed at stopping the Aryan parade with a “Never Again” march.

“I want to show there’s a different kind of Jew in town,” Irv Rubin said from his office in Los Angeles. “It’s not the weak, submissive Jew that runs and hides and pulls down his blinds.”

Rubin’s aim is to recruit thousands of people to block the Aryan Nations parade. That could lead to violence, he conceded, but it would probably be started “by Nazis marching into a crowd of hostile people.

“One could say violence is always wrong,” Rubin added. “It’s always sad and always tragic, but it’s not always wrong. We don’t want to sit and play with constitutional principles.”

While the scheduling conflict is the basis for denying the permit, Rubin’s rhetoric clearly concerned Mayor Judy.

“Mr. Rubin has a history that isn’t rosy and certainly that is a concern as well as his stated objective for coming to town,” Judy said. A Jewish Defense League Internet Web page, for example, brags of Rubin’s numerous arrests for physical confrontations.

On Thursday, the ACLU’s legal committee will consider the Defense League’s request for help, as well as what action to take if Coeur d’Alene denies the Aryan Nations permit.

But that doesn’t mean the ACLU is taking up the fight for the Defense League.

“We think the government needs to accommodate all kinds of expression,” said Jack Van Valkenburgh, ACLU of Idaho director. “They don’t necessarily need to be at the same time if it creates logistical problems.”

The Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, meanwhile, is glad to see the Defense League permit denied.

“We would like for them to stay in Los Angeles,” said Tony Stewart, of the task force. “We don’t need them to come to Coeur d’Alene to participate in a confrontation that may lead to violence.

“The good people of North Idaho, through the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, have never remained silent and have always found ways to promote human rights and reject hate without confrontation or violence.”

The task force is asking people to pledge money for every minute the Aryans are marching as a means of raising money for human rights. The group has distributed 2,500 petitions and is having 1,000 more printed.

The task force also has several activities scheduled for the week of April 13-19, including a banquet featuring Gov. Phil Batt, a civil rights rally in Spokane, an interfaith church service in Coeur d’Alene and a memorial to the Holocaust in Spokane.

, DataTimes MEMO: This sidebar appeared with the story:

PARADE PROTEST

The North Idaho College Human Equality Club is sponsoring a petition drive today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the NIC library foyer. Residents are being asked to pledge money based on the duration of the proposed Aryan Nations parade in Coeur d’Alene on April 18.

This sidebar appeared with the story: PARADE PROTEST The North Idaho College Human Equality Club is sponsoring a petition drive today from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the NIC library foyer. Residents are being asked to pledge money based on the duration of the proposed Aryan Nations parade in Coeur d’Alene on April 18.

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