I wasn't here for the 2005 riot in North Toledo.
I was nowhere near Toledo; I was a 17-year-old high school senior in Wadsworth. When I came to Toledo, though, the riot was one of the first things people – neighbors, my new colleagues, the police – talked to me about.
People still talk about it pretty frequently. With a neo-Nazi rally planned in Chattanooga, Tenn., for the National Socialist Movement's 40th anniversary and rally, I wonder if the stories will make their way into more conversations (even though Chattanooga is 560-ish miles from here).
The Tennessee rally is scheduled for April 25 and 26.
“No longer stand on the sidelines. Come out and let your voice be heard, and your boots stand in solidarity in the streets of Chattanooga in defense of our nation, our race and the American way of life,” the registration form states.
With the help of Blade archives (especially this story):
The 2005 riots came with the announcement that the neo-Nazi group and their sympathizers planned to be in Toledo on Oct. 15.
The crowd, at times, numbered more than 500 people. Rocks, bottles, and bricks were thrown at law enforcement. Police answered with tear gas and wooden “knee-knocker” pellets.
There was looting, there was arson. Bystanders were assaulted.
It was expensive: $336,000 for damages and related expenses -- that doesn't include losses from looted businesses and damaged residences and vehicles. A bar that was set on fire sustained $60,000 in damage. The Highway Patrol deployment cost about $73,600. City police and fire, mostly for overtime, cost about $177,000.
Police arrested 60 people. Several people, including police and a paramedic, were injured. Two Blade photographers were assaulted.
It wasn't pretty and this was all after police canceled the National Socialist Movement's planned march.
The group ended up in downtown Toledo on Dec. 10, 2005. More were arrested, but, by comparrison, things were much less hectic.
Police were still out in riot gear, people – including three news photographers, were arrested. There weren't any reported injuries, nothing was set on fire.
Here's to keeping an eye on Chattanooga.
I'd be interested in hearing from folks who were in Toledo and at the scene of the riot/December rally. Share your stories!