Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Nov. 4, 2002
By TOM HELD
Three white supremacist groups with active Wisconsin chapters plan to rally on the steps of the federal courthouse this month and are seeking a bus and special police protection from local authorities.
It appears likely the groups will receive a required permit from the General Services Administration, which authorizes events at the courthouse. But federal and city officials are saying no to the request for a bus to transport the demonstrators from a nearby parking lot.
“We just don’t do that,” David Wilkenson, public affairs manager for the GSA, said Monday. “Why should the government underwrite a rally? That’s not a good use of taxpayer money.”
Michael McQueeney, leader of the Wisconsin chapter of the Ku Klux Klan, said the local authorities should bus the Klansmen and other white supremacists from a nearby parking area to protect them from attack on the city streets. McQueeney has appealed to the Wisconsin chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union for help in securing the police protection he believes the rallying groups should have.
As planned, the rally will bring members of the Ku Klux Klan, the World Church of the Creator and the National Socialist Movement to the courthouse steps from 1 to 3 p.m. Nov. 23. The courthouse is at 517 E. Wisconsin Ave.
Christopher Peterson, a Milwaukee leader of the World Church of the Creator, said the groups will preach their message, calling for an all-white society.
The rally also is intended to serve as a protest against the attacks on white people after Summerfest in July and the mob beating of Charlie Young Jr. in September. The National Socialist Movement, America’s Nazi party, will offer to patrol Summerfest in 2003, according to a release announcing the rally.
Mayor John O. Norquist said he recognizes that the groups have a constitutional right to hold the rally and express their views. He called the suggestion that the Nazi group would protect people at Summerfest “preposterous” and said the members should “rent their own bus.”
“The vast majority of people in Milwaukee disagree passionately with the Klan and other supremacist groups,” Norquist said. “If they made their voices heard, they’d drown out the Klan’s message of hate.”