KKK to rally in Madison, Ind., while local college plans to counter-protest with peace rally
Law enforcement says extra officers will be on patrol for the rally, but don't anticipate it getting out of hand.
MADISON, Ind. (WDRB) –- At a time when the city is expecting thousands of visitors, the Ku Klux Klan will rally in Madison, Ind., this weekend.
However, one local college is not happy about it.
“I was shocked and surprised," said Hanover College President Lake Lambert. "I don't think that any of us think of the KKK as being active in America today."
Especially in Madison, Ind., where the population is a little more than 12,000.
“This is not what our community stands for,” Lambert said.
The Confederate White Knights of the KKK are recruiting new members and bringing a rally to the small city.
“We are having a Ku Klux Klan rally in Madison Indiana on Sept. 24 from noon to two. Come out and show your support,” a KKK phone recording said.
President Lambert, who teaches a course on civil rights and Martin Luther King Jr., says the timing of their arrival couldn't be worse. More than 60,000 visitors are expected for the Chautauqua Festival of Arts.
“There's a beautiful festival going on, and if we scare anybody away from ever coming to Madison because of that, it's a shame,” said Madison resident Margie Sparks.
Lambert explained he doesn't want Jefferson County, Ind., to be associated with what the KKK represents.
“It's history of violence and bigotry, of racism as well as antisemitism and anti-immigrant efforts.” he said.
So students from Hanover plan to take their own action.
“It is a peaceful protest to say this is not who we are as a Jefferson County community,” Lambert said.
Jefferson County Sheriff John Wallace says extra officers will be on patrol around Fireman's Park for the rally including his deputies, Madison Police and Indiana State Police.
“We do have our first amendment rights, but we'll do our jobs, and we believe we're well-prepared, and things will go off without a hitch,” Sheriff Wallace told WDRB News.
According to the same KKK recording, this is what Klan members are rallying around:
“Our American flag was purchased by the blood of suffering of American heroes. If you're tired of all this foreign garbage going on in America, you're tired of all this drug overdose and this bullying going on, the Ku Klux, Klan is for you.”
“If these individuals were truly interested in the drug epidemic, they wouldn't be aligned with the KKK," President Lambert said. "They would be working with other community leaders who are trying to make a positive difference."
In addition to the Hanover College peaceful protest, local clergy also plan to hold a prayer vigil on Saturday.
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