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Fence, police to prevent riots at Klan rally

August 03, 2004|by JULIE E. GREENE

julieg@herald-mail.com

SHARPSBURG -A fence and police will be the barriers used to prevent any potential riots from occurring at an Aug. 28 rally the Ku Klux Klan is planning at a town park, Sharpsburg Town Attorney Charles Wagaman said at Monday night's mayor and Town Council meeting.

Gordon Young, imperial wizard for the World Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, asked Wagaman about parking and barrier issues at Monday's meeting because he said he was unable to reach Wagaman twice by phone.

After discussing the parking issue, the two talked about a barrier between Klan supporters and protesters, with the ensuing discussion leading to Wagaman and Young using harsher tones.

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The two had been discussing how to prevent a riot at the rally at Lonnie L. Crampton Memorial Park.

Young said if anyone is starting riots, it's Wagaman, who put information in the newspaper.

Wagaman said he talked to a reporter once about the issue.

Wagaman said, "If your language is such that it's meant to disrupt the peace ...," and was interrupted by Young.

Young asked Wagaman if he'd ever said anything to indicate that was true.

Wagaman said "just the history of the Klan."

Young had been asking if a barrier could be set up to separate supporters from protesters.

Wagaman said the Klan's supporters would be inside the fence, so the fence would separate them from protesters.

Young would have to make people stand near the entryways to the park to tell police who can come in and who can't, Wagaman said.

"If you let a protester in, that's your problem," Wagaman said.

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