Friday, June 24, 2016

The Anti-George Lincoln Rockwell Protest

On February 10, 1966, American Neo-Nazi*, George Lincoln Rockwellwas arrested in New York City on an old disorderly conduct warrant, and is briefly held in the Tombs before he could speak at Columbia University at McMillan Theater.  The New York Times scored the university for permitting his arrival and in the next day's edition, noted that  1,500 had lined up to hear the American Nazi.

From a brief clip of the demo:

On February 9, the campus newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, reported:
Police May Arrest Rockwell On A Five-Year-Old WarrantBy Kathy Shenkin

New York police may prevent George Lincoln Rockwell, commander of the American Nazi Party, from keeping his appointment to speak at McMillin theater tonight. Under a warrant issued six years ago, enforceable anywhere in New York state, the police may arrest Mr. Rockwell when he arrives at Columbia, Jerome D. Cohen, a lawyer for the Jewish War Veterans Association, stated yesterday. According to Mr. Cohen, the warrant was issued June 28, 1960, for disorderly conduct in the rotunda of the New York State Supreme Court. During a recess of a hearing on Rockwell's petition for permission to speak on a public street, he excoriated ex-inmates of concentration camps present at the hearing, and shouting over a loud speaker that he was going to set up crematoria in the United States. This warrant kept Mr. Rockwell out of New York State since 1960, except for one unannounced visit to Hofstra University, when he escaped before police could arrest him. Fifteen to twenty members of the Jewish War Veterans Association will distribute leaflets outside McMillin Theater, protesting the invitation which, they say, "dignifies Rockwell by giving him a platform to speak at the University." "This is not an issue of academic freedom or freedom of speech." said Cohen. Columbia chapters of Youth Against War and Fascism and the Congress of Racial Equality will also protest the speech...

That same issue carried this letter:

Do Not Attend

To the Editor:
The Student Zionist Organization of Columbia/Barnard deplores Humanitas' lack of sensitivity to human feelings in inviting George Lincoln Rockwell to the Columbia Campus. While we recognize the right to free speech, we feel that Humanitas has failed in its purpose of presenting controversial speakers. Rockwell and the American Nazi Party's advocation of genocide does not stand on the docket of controversial issues today. We urge that Columbia students do not attend the lecture and that they refrain from demonstrating, for actions of this nature lower the dignity of our student body.
February 8, 1966
Student Zionist Organization Columbia-Barnard Chapter

On February 16, the campus newspaper, the Columbia Spectator, carried this story (an excerpt):

Another TryRockwell Would Accept New Invitation to Speak at Columbia
By Christopher Friedrichs

Humanitas, the General Studies student organization that sponsored George Lincoln Rockwell's abortive speech here Wednesday night, plans to invite the American Nazi Party leader back to Columbia sometime this year. Dotson Rader GS, chairman of the group, disclosed Thursday night that Rockwell had indicated a willingness to return to make the speech he was unable to give last week.

"If we are still a student organization as of next week, if we have the funds, and if President Kirk will still defend our right to bring anyone we want to, we will bring Rockwell back," Rader declared. Rockwell was arrested Wednesday on his way to the Columbia campus and thus prevented from giving his speech...Vice President Lawrence H. Chamberlain decided instead to call off the event. 

and this letter:


To the Editor:
George Lincoln Rockwell has said that the primary goal of his speaking engagements is to arouse emotion and hatred. Rockwell states that once fanatical emotions are aroused they can be manipulated by a leader to suit his purposes The Nazi leader claims to be unconcerned whether crowds react for him or against him as long as they react violently. Rockwell will, undoubtedly, be very pleased to hear about the angry emotionalism of those who protested his appearance at Columbia. Rockwell's notoriety depends upon protest. He considers a speaking engagement a success, whether he appears or not, as long as it arouses the anger which m turn creates publicity. The size and volume of the protest against Rockwell was out ot all proportion to any real danger which he, his ideas, or group could present. The paranoic exaggeration which the protest presented, the singing and chanting of the protestors, the sit-down demonstration were the kinds of crowd responses which any brand of totalitarian demagogue could use.
Raymond F. Rurghardt 'Hf Feb. 10, 1966

"In 1960, Rockwell proposed a Fourth of July rally in Union Square. Mayor Robert Wagner denied his permit to speak. On June 22, 1960, Rockwell personally argued at a court hearing on his permit application. He slipped into the courtroom almost unnoticed in a conservative suit. When speaker after speaker attacked him, he spoke with wit and humor, weaving legal precedents and citations into a masterful presentation. A rabbi, enraged beyond control, rose to his feet and bellowed in broken English and Yiddish before suddenly falling to the floor in convulsions. Rockwell then held a press conference in the rotunda of the New York County Courthouse at 60 Centre St., where he advocated gassing 80 percent of all Jews as traitors."


1 comment:

Eliyahu m'Tsiyon said...

Columbia university has a bad record. They invited rockwell back in 1966 and about 8 or 9 years ago, they invited the genocide advocate Ahmadinejad, president of Iran. A-jad too wanted to murder Jews. And Columbia did all this in the name of free speech.

By the way, wasn't Dotson Rader a prominent "new leftist" back in the 1960s? The name sounds familiar to me.