An offshoot of the homegrown terror group the Ku Klux Klan is headed to the city of Dayton, Ohio, to rally Saturday, and city officials are urging folks to stay away, concerned they’ll have another Charlottesville on their hands.
Charlottesville, Va., was the site of a violent clash two years ago between white supremacists and counter-protesters. A white supremacist mowed down and killed counter-protester Heather Heyer amid the chaos. Another group of supremacists brutally beat a black man, DeAndre Harris, in a parking garage.
Dayton officials tried but failed to stop the KKK-affiliated Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana from rallying, suing the group, citing the group’s admission that its members plan to carry weapons during the event, The Hill reports.
With the rally apparently inevitable, Dayton’s mayor is urging people to stay away.
“This hate group that is coming in from outside our community want[s] to incite problems in our community, and we want to stop that from happening,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in an interview Thursday, Newsweek reported. “We really don’t want people to go downtown, because that’s what this hate group wants and we don’t want to give this hate group what they want.”
It seems doubtful Whaley will get her wish, and things could go left really quickly.
As Newsweek notes, the KKK-linked group says its members will have weapons:
In a letter to Dayton attorneys, Robert Morgan from the KKK group explained the demonstrators would be carrying legal sidearms. However, during the rally they will not be permitted to carry assault rifles, bats or shields.
No “assault rifles.” Well, now, that’s reassuring.
And as for folks staying away, that’s also unlikely.
Members of anti-fascist groups, as well as various Black Lives Matter organizations and the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense all say they will be there Saturday, with members of the Dayton New Black Panthers Party saying they’ll also be armed, Newsweek reports:
Donald Domineck, the chair of the Dayton New Black Panthers Party, invoked the legacy of the civil rights movement while calling others to join the confrontational protest. “Adhere to the philosophy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Make your presence known but to make it known nonviolently,” he said, according to ABC22. He added that he also expected some designated members to be carrying legal firearms at the counterdemonstration.