Klan group plans another rally in Dayton; mayor upset

DAYTON, Ohio (AP) — A Ku Klux Klan group that caused tensions with a rally in Ohio last year has applied to hold another one this year.

The Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana recently asked for a permit for a Sept. 5 rally in Dayton. Montgomery County’s administrator said the application hasn’t yet been approved, the Dayton Daily News reported.

At least 10 people want to speak publicly while defending “white Christian American rights,” the application states.

Fewer than 10 people rallied last May on Dayton’s courthouse square, badly outnumbered by hundreds of anti-Klan protesters. A massive police presence kept order without direct clashes or injuries after many downtown businesses shut down and roads were blocked.

While there was widespread sentiment against the rally in 2019, local authorities concluded they had to allow the group to exercise its freedoms of speech and assembly.

Mayor Nan Whaley said she’s incredibly frustrated and understands people in Dayton are upset and angry about the group’s plans to return.

“Let me be clear: I’m angry too,” she said, saying contending with another rally is “too much” as the city tries to heal after a year that included devastating tornadoes and a mass killing.

The Democrat said she is asking state and congressional officials for help.

The city said the cost of protecting the Klan members and anti-Klan-protesters during the rally and alternative events held last Memorial Day weekend ran roughly $650,000. Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein estimated costs at $250,000 for personnel and $400,000 for materials.