"We Are Coming..."
Throughout the 1970s, a small group of neo-Nazis based in Chicago's South Side have a series of white-supremacist rallies in Marquette Park, located near their headquarters. They call themselves the National Socialist Party of America (NSPA) and are led by Frank Collin.
Reacting to the increased violence occurring during the rallies in Marquette Park, the Chicago Park District invokes an ordinance requiring $250,000 of liability insurance in an effort to limit the NSPA's activities.
Enlisting the aid of the Illinois American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), Frank Collin files a lawsuit against the Chicago Park District to challenge the ordinance (Collin v. O'Malley). The ordinance is found to be unconstitutional by a U.S. District Court judge and the Chicago Park District immediately appeals.
While awaiting progress on the Chicago Park District's legal appeal, the NSPA shifts its focus to Chicago's north suburbs.
In October 1976, Frank Collin sends a letter to the Skokie Park District requesting permission to "conduct a public meeting" in Birch Park on November 6, 1976.
The flyers, headed with a swastika and a large headline, "We Are Coming!" explain that the Chicago Park District and "the courts" have "enforced what amounts to a complete ban of our right to free speech in public." And thus the NSPA has "decided to relocate in areas heavily populated by the real enemy -- the Jews!"
On October 25, 1976, The Skokie Park District Board of Commissioners direct Daniel D. Brown, Director of Parks and Recreation, to respond to Collin that Skokie has no “Birch Park”.
In addition, the Board passes an ordinance requiring public assembly permit applicants post an insurance bond of $350,000.
The NSPA changes their focus from the Skokie Park District to the Skokie village government.
On March 3, 1977, Michael Whalen, spokesperson for the NSPA, announces that the group will have a half-hour, silent demonstration on the steps of the Skokie Village Hall on May 1, 1977 to protest the Skokie Park District's insurance bond requirement.