Last weekend a white power group chose to have an event on the steps of City Hall. Initially it appeared as though they were going to be ignored, which is exactly what the white power group did not want. A number of forward thinking community organizations planned a positive community event in Canal Park during the same time as the white power event.
As the week unfolded it became apparent there were certain individuals who wanted to confront the white power group-some from almost 200 miles away. I received a call from an area activist who told me she wanted to bring her young children to the City Hall event. I found that rather concerning for a number of obvious reasons.
When Saturday rolled around we were pounded pretty good with lake effect snow that no doubt had an negative impact on the number of attendees for the City Hall event. Our staff had been planning our response to the event all week. There ended up being a sizable crowd of counter protesters at City Hall, while the number of white power folks numbered no more than 8.
Police staff did a tremendous job. Despite much tension, there were no injuries to anyone and police used little force in order to keep control. People were able to say what they wanted to. Other than the four people arrested, everyone (police, protesters, and counter protesters)went home safely. That is the way it is suppose to work.