More than 50 people gathered Saturday to learn more about a counter-rally on May 25 at the same time the Honorable Sacred Knights, a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group, plans to rally on Courthouse Square in Dayton. STAFF/LAWRENCE BUDD

Two coalitions plan response to white supremacist rally in Dayton

People from the community gathered Sunday night to learn more about another counter-rally on May 25 at the same time the Honorable Sacred Knights plans to rally on Courthouse Square in Dayton.

The Dayton Unit NAACP announced Sunday at a press conference their event, “A Community Celebration: An Afternoon of Love, Unity, Peace & Diversity” that will be held at McIntosh Park at the intersection of Edwin C. Moses Blvd. and West Riverview Avenue.

The Dayton Unit NAACP’s intent is to hold an event that is a family-friendly, block-party style celebration with speakers, music and spoken word.

FIRST REPORT:

More than 50 people gathered late Saturday afternoon to learn more about a counter-rally on May 25 at the same time the Honorable Sacred Knights, a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group, plans to rally on Courthouse Square in Dayton.

M.J. Dodson drove from Yellow Springs to the meeting at at The Inspiration Church, 2900 Philadelphia Drive in Dayton. She wanted to show her support for those opposed to the white supremacist message anticipated from those at the original rally.

“I feel love, concern and community are really important anytime,” Dodson said before the meeting. “At the same time, we should show our beliefs through our behavior.”

RELATED: Venue cites safety, turns away counter group on date of Klan rally in Dayton

Karima Mosley of Dayton said she wanted to show her support for the group, A Better Dayton Coalition, and its efforts to present a safe, peaceful alternative to the rally.

“I don’t condone hate,” Mosley said as the meeting began. “God doesn’t want hatred and people killing each other.”

Chad White, Dayton president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, urged those in attendance to confront county officials who decided to permit the rally.

“We expressed great displeasure,” White said.

Marlon Aldridge of the Sankofa Federation said he expected potentially thousands to gather downtown for the rally and counter-efforts.

He urged participants to be ready for problems.

“You should always plan for the worst,” Aldridge said, warning that counter-rally participants should be ready for spitting and other hateful acts. “We don’t want you there if you don’t have the temperament.”

Other community groups affiliated with A Better Dayton Coalition include the Dayton chapter of the New Black Panther Party, Justice for Racial Equality and Brotherhood, National Congress on Faith and Social Justice and Saving our Sons.

RELATED: Montgomery County grants rally permit

The Southern Poverty Law Center, which monitors domestic hate and extremist groups, added the Honorable Sacred Knights to its updated “hate map” last month. The SPLC also lists the New Black Panther Party as a hate group active in several states, but not Ohio.

Montgomery County initially denied the Klan group’s first permit application after determining it contained fictitious names, according to the county.

The group re-submitted the application with a legitimate name. After a review and consultation with law enforcement and legal counsel, the county approved the permit by applicant Robert Morgan, who provided a Madison, Ind., post office box address.

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