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Supremacists Denied Meeting Permit : Placentia Officials Cite Law Against Private Political Gatherings

February 13, 1986|DAVE PALERMO | Times Staff Writer

Placentia officials have rejected an application by a white supremacist group headed by Ku Klux Klan state leader Tom Metzger to hold a meeting Sunday in a city parks and recreation building.

Parks and Recreation Director James Soto said Wednesday that the permit was denied because a municipal ordinance prohibits using city buildings for political gatherings that are not open to the public.

David Wiley, who applied for the permit on behalf of a group called White American Resistance, said the group will not protest the decision.

"The city has the right to establish criteria for use of its buildings," Wiley said. Metzger could not be reached for comment.

The city's decision was reached late Tuesday, the day before seven members of the militant Jewish Defense League held a press conference in front of Wiley's apartment in Fullerton. Wiley's landlord, who declined to give his name, said he is evicting Wiley because of the furor over his political activities.

Jewish Defense League National Chairman Irv Rubin said that he is delighted with the city's decision. Rubin said that had the meeting been held, JDL members would have attempted to disrupt it.

"Wherever he (Metzger) goes, I'm going to be there," Rubin said. "Every time they sneeze, we're going to be there with a handkerchief. I don't believe these people have a rightful place in any community."

Subscribers Would Attend

Soto said that Wiley's application for a permit, dated Jan. 16, said the principal speaker would be Edward Fields, editor of the Thunderbolt, a right-wing newspaper based in Georgia. But copies of a White American Resistance flyer distributed by Rubin at the sparsely attended press conference listed the speakers as Fields, Metzger and Richard Butler, head of the Idaho-based Aryan Nations, another white supremacist group.

Wiley said in a letter dated Jan. 20 that the meeting would not be advertised or open to the public and would be restricted to Thunderbolt subscribers, Soto said. Wiley wrote in the application that he expected "60 to 70" people at the gathering.

Soto said he "raised his eyebrows" when Wiley referred to Fields as a "revisionist" but did not suspect the organization was political until last Friday, when the permit application was reviewed by the Police Department.

Police Capt. Jim Robertson said investigators linked Fields' newspaper to White American Resistance and notified Soto that the group is indeed political. Soto met with the city's attorney on Tuesday and decided to deny the application. A letter informing Wiley of the decision was mailed late Tuesday, Soto said, and Wiley was contacted by telephone Wednesday morning. The city also reimbursed Wiley for the $120 building rental fee, Soto said.

City officials said the denial was not based on the political beliefs of the organizers.

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