Shutdown Cancels Ku Klux Klan Rally At Gettysburg National Military Park

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The government shutdown has led to the cancellation of a Ku Klux Klan rally at Gettysburg National Military Park.

A Maryland-based KKK group, the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, had a permit to hold a rally on Oct. 5.

Park officials say all permits have been rescinded after the government shut down on Tuesday. Officials formerly defended granting the permit, when citizens complained, stating that people meeting in national parks have a right to free expression, even if their views are unpopular.

The rally was meant to rebuild the group’s image, according to the Patriot-News. The group’s Imperial Wizard Richard Preston said the group wants to remake its image into a one that will cross racial lines for a common cause.

“Everyone says the Klan is white supremacist,” said Preston. “We are white separatists. We believe the races should not mix. A black man who works 40 hours a week to provide for his family and raises his family the right way, we don’t have a problem with him. We do have a problem with the man who wants to sell drugs in one corner and his wife on the other. We have a problem with that.”

“As custodians of land owned by the American people, the National Park Service has a responsibility to make that land available for exercising those rights," said the NPS in a press release.

The Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil Was was considered a turning point by many. When Union Maj. Gen. George Gordon Meade's defeated Gen. Robert E. Lee's confederate forces, Lee’s invasion into the North was finally ended.

The KKK held a membership rally in September at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Md., home to the battle that set the stage for the Emancipation proclamation.

Sources: Newser, NBC News, Patriot-News