http://www.spokane.net/news-story.asp?date=3D090900&ID=3Ds849088&cat=3Dsecti= on.Idaho September 9, 2000 =20 Butler wants a parade Aryan leader responds with request for permit=20 Thomas Clouse - Staff writer HAYDEN LAKE _ The morning after a North Idaho jury slapped Aryan Nations leader Richard Butler with a $6.3 million verdict, he filed a request to hold a parade in downtown Coeur d'Alene. Butler woke Friday after the defeat and drove to Hayden for breakfast at Rustlers Roost -- his favorite restaurant. But he was denied service. Butler then drove to Coeur d'Alene City Hall at 10:20 a.m. and filled out a "Special Event Permit Application" to hold a march down Sherman Avenue on either Oct. 15 or Oct. 28. A jury on Thursday awarded Victoria and Jason Keenan the massive civil judgment in connection with a July 1, 1998, shooting near the compound north of Hayden Lake. Morris Dees, co-founder of the Southern Poverty Law Center, has already secured liens against all of Butler's assets -- include his 20-acre= compound. Butler had no comment when approached Friday. He'll hold a 3 p.m. press conference today on the grounds that he must turn over to the Keenans, pending possible legal appeals. The parade request shows that Butler is fighting back despite the verdict, said 22-year-old Bob Gmeiner, an Aryan Nations member.=20 As Gmeiner leaned on a rail in front of the Aryan Nations office, Butler slowly walked to his house, flanked by his dog, Fritz. "It's pretty much saying that you can take the church from us, but we are not going anywhere," Gmeiner said. Coeur d'Alene Mayor Steve Judy, who was in Boise for an Association of Idaho Cities meeting, had this reaction to the parade request: "So what." "I guess (Butler) didn't get the message," Judy said. "I guess when (jurors) told him to take a hike, he must have thought they meant the main street of Coeur d'Alene." City Attorney Jeff Jones said he gave the parade application to Police Chief Tom Cronin to process. "It usually takes a while to review ... so that the Police Department can take the steps necessary," Jones said. Cronin on Friday turned the job over to Capt. Ken Timmons -- on Timmons' birthday. "We kind of figured, whether he won or lost, that (Butler) was going to march," Cronin said. "This is still America. "If he does everything according to what the City Council asks of anybody -- be it kids on the Fourth of July or the Aryans -- we have to provide the police services." On the application, Butler said he expects more than 100 participants. The maximum he will allow to participate is 500. Butler listed "white resistance" as the purpose for the 11 a.m. "Christian Heritage" parade. It will start at Eighth Street and end at First Street, with the Aryans assembling at Independence Point. "I can't believe he will have 100 people," Cronin said. "It would be really nice if nobody showed up." City Councilman Ron Edinger said Butler has the same right as anyone to apply for the parade. "You can't deny a parade permit," he said. "We found that out." The Aryans marched in 1998, and city leaders tried to move the Aryans' 1999 parade to Ramsey Road, next to the old city dump. The Aryans and the ACLU sued the city over that move, and U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge ordered the city to allow the 17 Aryans to march on Sherman. Butler did not attempt to march this summer prior to the civil trial that started Aug. 28. Doug Cresswell, president of the Kootenai County Task Force on Human Relations, said he was surprised Butler applied to march. "Quite frankly, I have no idea what the motivation is," Cresswell said. "I can't believe he'll have much support." If the Aryans do march, the task force might provide an alternative, much like the "Making Lemonade out of Lemons" response to the 1998 Aryan Nations' parade. That fund-raiser let residents pledge money for every minute the Aryan Nations marched. About $35,000 was raised for human rights groups. "Our philosophy basically is: We're not going to go out and demonstrate against him," Cresswell said. The task force's board of directors will meet next Monday night, where they will talk about the possible parade and their response. Task force member Marshall Mend said he didn't expect such a thing after the verdict, but it won't change the way things are handled. He said the task force's response will stay the same: Don't go to the march. "It's a nothing event," he said. "Nobody showed up for the trial, nobody (should) show up for the march." Cronin said he will probably suggest that Butler hold his parade on Oct. 28, which will give his department two more weeks to plan. Kootenai County Sheriff Rocky Watson expressed annoyance Friday when he learned Butler had applied for the parade. Especially when the news came the same day that Watson got the $25,000 labor and overtime bill just for the first five days of the eight-day civil trial. Watson won't have the full cost or the total number of officers used until next week. However, Watson did promise 1st District Judge Charles Hosack that his deputies would provide security for any of the jurors. "But none have asked. We have not gotten any indicators that we have had any threats or anything," Watson said. Back at the 20 acres filled with "Whites Only" signs and swastikas, the stiff breeze blew an Aryan Nations sign back and forth. The rusted joints creaked with each swing underneath the gray morning sky. Gmeiner -- who last Thursday ordered the same reporter and photographer off the compound -- willingly chatted about the future of his cause. "My destiny and the future of all of us was set in stone before I was born," the former Spokane resident said. "We can't be upset about that. "We have to continue to fight and go forward with our message. One day we will have our victory." Even if the Keenans turn the compound into an educational center where school children can learn about tolerance -- as Dees suggested -- the Aryan Nations will live, Gmeiner said. "I have about six skinhead friends. If we have to start our own organization, we will," he said. "We will be here forever." =95Staff writer Angie Gaddy contributed to this report.
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