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October 27, 2007

Klan to protest Klan

By Brittany Woodby

BWOODBY@CULLMANTIMES.COM

Apparently not all Klans are created equal.

Days after the Cullman City Council approved a permit request by the National Knights of the Ku Klux Klan to assemble in front of the courthouse, members of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan announced their group's intent to be there as well.

The Times received an email from Ken Mier, who identified himself as an investigator for the Alabama Klan and the national office of the Ku Klux Klan LLC. Mier said his group is different from the Church of the National Knights and is against that organization's protest tactics.

"There are many differences between our organizations that can obviously be noticed," he said in his correspondence. "We are the real Klan and descendants of the original non-violent Klans-people."

Mier said members of the Alabama Klan were part of a silent protest at the National Knights rally held in Athens in September.

"We are opposed to the ignorance and stupidity as displayed by the individuals that thumbed their nose at the area churches by continuing to use racial slurs, threats and avoided Christian deportment," he said. "We were very vocal and apologetic to the City of Athens' Police Chief in pointing out that we were disgusted that (the National Knights) would interfere with the Trail of Tears ride."

Cullman Mayor Donald Green said he was not aware of another group's intent to protest at the courthouse that day.

"If they are protesting and they're going to be there, my opinion is they should have a permit also," he said.

Green said he feels both groups have the right to exercise their freedom to assemble and he would offer the city's police force to protect those rights.

"They have a right to use public property just like anybody else has the right to," he said. "I certainly don't necessarily agree with their philosophy and their motivation to protest, but I do respect their rights to do so."

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