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Matt Hale/WCOTC headed to Schaumburg

A settlement has been reached between the Schaumburg Township District Library and white supremacist Matt Hale that will allow him to bring his message to the Northwest suburbs.

Settlement with library clears way for speech by white supremacist
By Chad Brooks Daily Herald Staff Writer
Posted on August 10, 2001

A settlement has been reached between the Schaumburg Township District Library and white supremacist Matt Hale that will allow him to bring his message to the Northwest suburbs.

Hale and library officials confirmed Thursday that he will speak at the library, 130 S. Roselle Road, on Aug. 25 at 7:30 p.m. - nearly four months and one lawsuit after the original request to have the controversial figure bring his message to Schaumburg.

Board member Debbie Miller said she is relieved the matter is resolved. The board decided to settle with Hale to put the matter to rest without giving him any more attention, she said.

"If this would have gone to trial, all it would do is give a bully pulpit to Matt Hale," Miller said. "We just wanted to get this over with."

The Rev. Hale, the leader of the East Peoria-based World Church of the Creator, did not return phone calls requesting comment on Thursday, but said in a prepared statement he is very pleased with the settlement. He said the topic of his speech will be crime in Schaumburg.

"While I am not at liberty to speak about the terms of the agreement that we have reached today, the fact that I will be speaking at the Schaumburg Township District Library, as I set out to do months ago, is itself a great victory for our White Racist Cause," Hale said.

Board members originally denied the request - made by Hoffman Estates resident Kathy Robertazzo in late March - for the Hale speech, claiming their meeting room policy dictates that requests that would disrupt normal library operations be denied. Board members also said they had concerns about the safety of library patrons. Hale then filed suit, claiming his First Amendment rights had been violated.

Libraries in downstate Illinois and in Connecticut experienced problems after protesters tried charging the rooms where Hale was speaking.

Miller said while they have agreed to let Hale speak, their concerns still exist.

"We are going to be having the meeting after hours, so no patrons will be inside, and we will be walking everyone up the back stairwell straight into the meeting room," Miller said.

Schaumburg police officer Sandy Olson said final details of how much support they will bring to the event are still being decided. Previously library board members indicated several hundred officers would be needed to ensure everyone's safety during such a speech.

Miller said they are also considering requiring everyone who wants to attend the speech to get a ticket beforehand.

Hale's message has been blamed for causing Benjamin Smith to embark on a two-state killing spree in the summer of 1999 that left three dead, including himself.

Speech: Library aimed to avoid publicity
 
 

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