Klan rally plans hit approval difficulties

 


AIKEN - The KKK is finding that holding a rally is harder than announcing one.
"Everybody's been giving me the runaround," said Tim Bradly, Grand Dragon of the Church of the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
The group has been planning a rally in Clearwater or Burnettown for April 3. But its preferred venue is already booked, and Bradly is suspicious.
"Burnettown said their park is rented that day, but how is that when they haven't had anything going on there? I have been calling and calling for the last week," he said.
The Burnettown Police Department was contacted by Bradly concerning a request for the use of Willie Whaley Park, but it is reserved for the Valley Recreation Authority on April 3, said Chief David Smith.
Brad Barnes, Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department director, said his department received a phone message from Bradly on Wednesday, but no one has spoken with him.
Bradly said he has contacted a lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union and will hold the rally at a private farm if he can't use a county park.
He also wants to hold a parade, starting at the Burnettown Town Hall on Augusta Road.
But that might not be so easy, either.
Augusta Road is a state road, so the South Carolina Department of Transportation would have to give approval to close it for a parade, Smith said.
"I could care less what he does, but he needs to do it the right way," Smith said. "He just called us (Wednesday), but he has all these plans."
Bradly said he contacted the Department of Transportation last week, but hasn't been called back.
"We're going to do this with or without a permit," he said. "We can walk down the side of the road just like any pedestrian. They can't stop that."
Close to 100 Klan members from across the state and other areas are planning to attend the rally and parade, Bradly said.
Last week, Assistant County Administrator Todd Glover said there are no restrictions on what type of group can hold events at public parks.
When a KKK rally was held in Burnettown 10 years ago, organizers faced delays in response from county government, Bradly said.
"They try to deny us, but when the attorney calls, they end up giving up," he said. "We don't want no problems. We just want to express our views about the Obama administration being more concerned with other countries than the jobless and hungry here."

Reach Stephanie Toone at (803) 648-1395, xt 110, or stephanie.toone@augustachronicle.com

More

Savannah River Site resumes normal activity

A suspicious item was discovered Wednesday afternoon at the Savannah River National Laboratory which prompted emergency responseactivities.

... Read more