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Sharpsburg Klan rally delayed

June 08, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG - A World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan rally that was expected to be held Saturday in front of Town Hall will be held later this summer because the organizer needs to get permits, the Imperial Wizard said Monday.

Word has been spreading in town about the rally that was to take place in front of the library in Town Hall.

The rally was not discussed during Monday night's mayor and Town Council meeting, but after the meeting Imperial Wizard Gordon Young discussed the permit situation with Town Attorney and Zoning Administrator Charles Wagaman.

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Mayor Hal Spielman said the group needs a town permit for the rally on Town Square and a state permit to close Main Street, which is a state highway.

Young said he will ask to close Main Street from Md. 65 to Town Square for a march to precede the rally. He anticipated asking for the block to be closed for two hours, although the rally might not last that long. He expects at least 100 members of the Klan, Skinheads and Nazi groups to attend.

Basically, the group just needs to complete the paperwork to get the town permit, Spielman said after the meeting. First Amendment rights permit the group to assemble, he said.

Young, 38, who lives in Hagerstown, said he hopes to hold the march and rally around the end of August or mid-September.

The main point of the rally is to discuss the white power group's opposition to gay marriage, Young said. Other topics could come up.

Young described the group as political fighters.

Young would not say how many members are in his Sharpsburg-based group, but said 15 states are represented in the organization.

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