Members of the Traditional Rebel Knights of the Ku Klux Klan of Braddock Heights, Maryland, protest north of Meade’s Headquarters in Gettysburg National Military Park on Saturday, June 28, 2014. Paul Chaplin | firstname.lastname@example.org
GETTYSBURG – “The only solution is an all-white revolution,” said one of 10 Ku Klux Klan members during a klan protest rally held Saturday at the Gettysburg National Military Park.
But, Marguerethe Jaede, of Columbus, Ohio, who was in the area for a lacrosse tournament and happened upon the rally while in the park, didn’t agree. They’re “preaching hate and ignorance,” Jaede said.
Held by the Traditional Rebel Knights of Braddock Heights, Md., the rally was organized to protest against black on white violence, illegal immigration and gay rights, among other subjects. The group also expressed opinions about President Obama, Jews and white supremacy.
“We are taking back this land,” one klan protester said. “Anyone stands in our way, they’re going in the ground.”
Using a megaphone, the klan protesters spoke to onlookers from a fenced off area in a field just north of Mead’s Headquarters along Taneytown Rd. in the park. The group of protest observers, which varied from about 30 to 50 people – as some came and left during the less than 60 minute rally – was generally peaceful, but others, such Jaede, yelled back at the klan members.
Protesters responded to observers. One said, “We remember what you look like everybody.”
John Kreis, the Pennsylvania Grand Dragon of the Maryland based Confederate White Knights klan organization, said he was attending the protest to hear what the other group had to say, but others at the park had no idea the protest was scheduled.
One woman, who wouldn’t give her name and would only identify herself as Canadian, took the hands of her two young children and hurried away across the parking lot upon hearing about the protest.
Katie Lawhon, a management assistant with Gettysburg National Military Park, on Saturday issued a written statement about the protest which said in part: “The National Park Service mission in preserving and protecting the historic resources at Gettysburg includes making them available to all Americans, even those whose views are contrary to the majority of the American public.”
Albert Fike, who described himself as a racist and the vice-president of the group holding the rally, during a Friday interview said one of the reasons for having the protest in Gettysburg was, “We like to go to a white area to recruit.”
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