The Klu Klux Klan is staging a spring rally in Asheboro – 85 miles north of Charlotte – and activists in Charlotte and other communities across the region are organizing what they hope to be an even larger counter protest to “overwhelm” the event.
A group called Silver Valley Redneck Revolt is behind the counter protest, and it has set up a Facebook page to enlist participants.
The group says its goal is to “let the Klan know that if they leave their enclaves there will be a broad response from the community. This event is to publicly denounce the Klan, their beliefs, and show that we will not back down.”
A Web page for the Loyal White Nights of the Klu Klux Klan says their event will be held starting at 1 p.m. May 6, and will include speeches, dinner and a “crosslighting” at dark. An exact location is not provided. The Loyal White Knights is based in Pelham, N.C., an unincorporated community about 45 minutes north of Burlington, near the Virginia line.
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It’s not yet known how many Charlotteans are planning to participate in the counter protest. Names of the local organizers are being kept confidential for safety reasons, said one organizer.
“We’d like to try and stop their event, but if we can’t, we want to show up in numbers so the Klan knows it is not welcomed,” said a Charlotte activists, who asked not to be named.
“I’m originally from Asheboro, and the people of Asheboro need to know they are not alone in opposing this thing. They need support from people who are willing to stand along side them. We are looking for people from cities across the state and the South.”
The town of Asheboro released an official statement on March 12 denouncing the KKK’s “message of hate.”
“The people of Asheboro have worked too hard to unify our community to let an outside group come in and spread racist views without raising our voices loudly in protest,” said a message posted on Facebook by Asheboro Mayor David H. Smith.
“They may have a right to peacefully assembly, but we also have a right to object at the top of our collective voices. We figure it will be safer to show up in numbers.”
Asheboro officials said no applications have been received by the city related to the KKK event. Some opponents suspect the rally will be held on a private farm land, out of public view, to avoid counter protesters.
The Loyal White Knights claims on its Web site that they are not a hate group, despite saying the May 6 rally is for “whites only.”
“Nothing could be further from the truth,” says the group’s Web page. “We do not hate any group of people. However, we do hate some things that certain groups are doing to our race and our nation.”