Coverage of the stalemate in Congress that forced the U.S. government to a standstill

KKK, Kept from Gettysburg Park, Hold Event in Town

By NBC10.com Staff and Wire Reports
|  Sunday, Oct 6, 2013  |  Updated 8:47 AM PDT
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KKK, Kept from Gettysburg Park, Hold Event in Town

Getty Images / William Thomas Cain

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Four members of the Ku Klux Klan held an event in downtown Gettysburg after the federal government shutdown canceled their plans to rally on the nearby battlefield park grounds.

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The Evening Sun of Hanover reported that the group's leader, Richard Preston, said at the Saturday event they still hope to get a permit for a park event next month.

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The paper says several dozen supporter and spectators were on hand as Preston spoke for a little less than an hour.

The Adams Unity Coalition held a counter event about a mile away, "Voices of Unity.''

The KKK event was originally set to take place at Gettysburg National Military Park but was canceled due to the government stalemate.

Park officials said they rescinded all permits for special events because of the shutdown that began Tuesday.

The permit had been approved for a Maryland-based KKK group, the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a Saturday gathering.

Park officials had defended granting the permit, saying they have a responsibility to make the land available for citizens to exercise their right to freedom of speech, even if the views expressed are contrary to those of most Americans.

The group held a membership rally last month at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Md., where thousands died in a Civil War clash that set the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.

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