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article imageKKK claims a return from the 'fringe' in S.C. rally today

By Karen Graham     Jul 18, 2015 in World
Columbia - The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan tout themselves as being the largest Klan group in the U.S., but they won't be impressing anyone in Columbia S.C. today.
Klan members and Black Educators for Justice, as well as a large number of the curious, are filling the grounds of the Statehouse under 92+-degree heat this afternoon, as police gather in force to keep the peace.
The Klan group is a Pelham, North Carolina-based chapter of The Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The group is holding its rally from 3 to 5 p.m. on the steps of the statehouse today. They are expecting about 200 Klan members to attend, according to Reuters.
There was a voice message on the group's phone line saying its members are “standing up for our Confederate history and all the Southerners who fought and died against federal tyranny. Our government is trying to erase white culture and our heritage right out of the pages of our history books."
The Klan is claiming this rally will mark a return of the Klan from the "fringes of American society." While at one time it claimed over five million members 90 years ago, today there are probably less than a few thousand people claiming affiliation with the group.
Crowds started gathering this morning for a Rally on Legal Issues for Citizen Rights at the northern end of the Statehouse, being held by The Black Educators for Justice. The South Carolina Chapter of RBG Columbia is a self-proclaimed black activist group.
Greenville's is reporting that James Evans Muhammad, a former director of the New Black Panther Party, has said that members of the New Black Panther Party, Nation of Islam and Black Lawyers for Justice also will attend the rally.
The KKK group insists their rally will be peaceful, telling WIS-TV in Columbia they intend to send the message of “white pride,” not hate.
Another group, South Carolina Solidarity also has a permit to be on the grounds today. they are holding a "Smash the KKK rally." The group did not specify how many people were attending.
Governor Nicky Haley has urged people to stay away from the rally on Saturday, and with the beefed up police presence, officials are afraid of a violent clash between the different groups. Columbia's police department issued a memo today stating: “The Columbia Police Department will continue a vigilant posture with officer emphasis on situational awareness. This will include prepositioned traffic barricades for immediate deployment.”
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