Report: Ku Klux Klan group plans demonstration
Friday, February 28th 2003, 12:00 am
News On 6
AUGUSTA, Ga. (AP) _ A Ku Klux Klan group has asked for a permit to demonstrate in support of Augusta National Golf Club's right to an all-male membership, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported Friday.
``We intend on making speeches and picketing for the right of the Augusta National Club to include only members of their choice regardless of race, religion, sex or creed,'' said J.J. Harper, identified by the newspaper as the imperial wizard of the American White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.
Augusta National spokesman Glenn Greenspan distanced the club from the group that made the permit request Thursday.
``As a result of the controversy created by political activists, a number of organizations, some of them extreme, have sought to voice their political views,'' Greenspan said. ``Anyone who knows anything about Augusta National Golf Club or its members knows this is not something the club would welcome or encourage.''
The golf club has been under pressure from Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, to admit a woman. Burk has said she will seek a permit to demonstrate during the Masters tournament in April.
``(Augusta National) should not be shocked by the KKK's endorsement,'' Burk told the newspaper. ``They have behaved in a manner that attracts this type of support. They are going to have a real circus if this goes on.
``If I was Augusta National, I would spare my golfers, my members, my patrons, the city and citizens of Augusta, and the tournament all the trouble by simply opening membership immediately to women or announcing a plan to do so in a reasonable amount of time.''
The Rev. Jesse Jackson's Rainbow/PUSH Coalition has requested an application for a permit to demonstrate in support of Burk at the Masters in April.
Col. Gary Powell of the Augusta-Richmond County Sheriff's Department said Wednesday he had received permit requests from Jackson's group and from an unidentified man from Maine who supports Augusta National.
A group called ``WAMB,'' or Women Against Martha Burk, wants to demonstrate in support of the club in downtown Augusta on April 6, the Sunday before the Masters.