A Ku Klux Klan rally was vastly outnumbered by anti-hate counter-protesters in Dayton, Ohio on Saturday.
Though plans for the demonstration had ‘set the city on edge’, only nine people up showed up to represent the hate-group.
500 to 600 people took to the city streets to drown out KKK-affiliated group, ‘Honorable Sacred Knights’, with peace slogans. The hundreds of counter-protest signs included ‘your hate makes you weak’, ‘Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere’ and ‘get your hatin’ out of Dayton’.
— ABC 22/FOX 45 Dayton (@ABC22FOX45) May 25, 2019
The nine Klan members were confined behind a fence outside the Ohio courthouse square away from the large crowd of protestors, some of whom were dressed as Black Panther and Antifa activists, reports TIME magazine.
Ohio police employed 350 police offices to stand guard at the rally, anticipating tensions between the Klan members and protestors. Yet the protest remained peaceful and there were ‘no arrests, no citations and no use of force,’ according to Cara Neace, a Dayton police public information specialist.
Dayton’s Mayor, Nan Whaley, expressed relief that the rally was over.
Taking to Twitter, she wrote:
This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work – making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton.
This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work – making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton. Please see my full statement below. #UnitedAgainstHateDYT pic.twitter.com/25JyRCjZRY
— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) May 25, 2019
In a statement, she added:
I am very glad that today’s events went off without incident and the hate group that tried to threaten our city is gone.
Local media reports claim the Indiana-based Klan group targeted Dayton due to the racial segregation in the area.
Despite the Klan’s intentions, Mayor Whaley believes the incident may have brought the city together:
‘Dayton is still too segregated, and too unequal. This is unacceptable and something we must keep focused on every day,’ she wrote.
USA Today reported that the event cost the city $650,000 (around £511,000).
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.