White supremacist group the Ku Klux Klan has been granted a permit to hold an event at Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, Daily Mail reports.
Park officials say they have a responsibility to grant permits for all citizens to exercise their First Amendment right of freedom of speech, even if those views are contrary to those of many Americans.
The event will take place on the afternoon of Oct. 5 on the lawn area north of General George Meade’s Headquarters and held by a Maryland-based KKK group.
The historic park is named after the Civil War Battle of Gettysburg that involved the largest number of casualties during the war and is considered as the war’s turning point.
Just earlier this month, the group held a membership rally at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Md. About 30 people, some in white robes and others in military style clothing and swastika armbands of the National Socialist Movement of America, attended the Sept. 7 event.
Some made hate speeches, attacking immigrants, blacks and other minority groups. Around 200 officers were present to ensure peace between the Klan and the 30 counter-demonstrators there.
Jeffrey Margolies, a counter-demonstrator at the Sept. 7 event said “it’s disgusting that they would come to sacred ground.”
But Park Superintendent John Howard said, “the Supreme Court has ruled consistently that national parks in particular are places of freedom of expression.”
Sources: Daily Mail, CBS-21