May 1 rally is averted ... temporarily
"Public display of the swastika...constitutes a symbolic assault"
-- Village of Skokie v. National Socialist Party of America
On April 28,1977, Skokie's lawyer, Harvey Schwartz, and the American Civil Liberty Union's David Goldberger argue Village of Skokie v. National Socialist Party of America, et al. in Cook County Circuit Court.
Schwartz cites the Jewish population in Skokie and the large number of Holocaust survivors as well as a campaign of harassing phone calls from National Socialist Party of America (NSPA) members to Skokie residents.
"By reason of the ethnic and religious composition of the Village of Skokie...the public display of the swastika in connection with the proposed activities of the...National Socialist Party of America constitutes a symbolic assault against large numbers of the residents...and an incitation to violence and retaliation"
Skokie's total population in the late 1970s was about 70,000 and estimates of Skokie's Jewish population range from 28,000-40,000. Estimates of the number of Holocaust survivors in the Village at the time range from 800-7,000.
On April 29, 1977 Cook County Circuit Court Judge Joseph M. Wosik, issues a preliminary injunction prohibiting members of the NSPA from demonstrating in Skokie on May 1, 1977.
Wosik states, “I believe I have just as much right to protect life and limb as to protect the First Amendment rights of the Nazis to free speech.”