Saturday's Klan Rally Ends Without Incident

Sunday, October 1st 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Saturday’s Ku Klux Klan rally in downtown Tulsa ended peacefully, just the way law enforcement officers planned.

Officers outnumbered Klansmen ten to one Saturday during the rally.

Downtown Tulsa looked like a riot zone with more than 300 police officers and sheriff's deputies lining the courthouse plaza.

Officers were at every angle for any problems as the Ku Klux Klan brought their message of white power to town.

The Tulsa County Sheriff's Office bussed the Klan members in from a remote location and provided security.

"We have to provide them with a secure place to practice their right of free speech," says Tulsa County Sheriff Stanley Glanz. “The cost of this will be about 5-6 thousand dollars for us to provide security for this rally."

Sheriff Glanz says the Klan wrote the County Commissioners in June and demanded security for its rally.

The Klan did have to follow rules set out by the officers. They had to stay in the gated area and based on Oklahoma law couldn't cover their faces with masks, although some improvised with motorcycle helmets.

Protesters outnumbered the Klan but neither group was allowed near the other, but they also had a message.

"I've lived here all my life and I hate it. I hate it everytime they come here. It's embarrassing to family and it's embarrassing to Tulsa. It's ridiculous, and it makes me real mad to see all of this going on," says Kim Butler, Protestor.

But Klan people say their group is growing and they came here to recruit and to have their day.

Law enforcement says they are just glad they said what they had to say without incident.

Several people, who oppose the Klan's way of thinking, came up with a better way to show that opposition rather than attend the rally.

The Greenwood Chamber of Commerce held a block party at the Greenwood and Archer.

The chamber says when the Klan is in town the best thing to do is turn away from the hate and celebrate love and joy within their community.

The alternative event even provided a concert with jazz pianist Fred Smith and the Next Level Band.