Ku Klux Klan leader promises peaceful rally at the State House

Published: Jun. 30, 2015 at 4:23 AM EDT|Updated: Jul. 10, 2015 at 4:23 AM EDT
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COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - At the State House, tensions grow as protesters clash while the Confederate flag continues to fly.

"He punched me one time, and then more people came in, and I got jumped," said Joe Linder. "There was more than one of them. I don't know how many. But you know what, for all the blood in my mouth, for all the blood on my face, for the blood on my hand, it compares nothing to the blood of my heritage."

And Monday's protest won't be the last.

"There's a lot of tension, a lot of pain, a lot of frustration," said "Take It Down" protester Loretta Torres. "People are tired of the racism. Black lives matter."

In less than a month, the Loyal White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan will be coming to town to protest against the flag's removal.

Documents say the group, headquartered in North Carolina, is expecting a hundred to two hundred protesters.

"It should be a peaceful rally," said James Spears, the Great Titan of the Loyal White Knights. "We usually have pretty peaceful rallies. I mean, to me, it should be a peaceful rally. Like I said, it's for the Confederate Flag."

Spears said he has sympathy for the nine gunned down by 21-year-old Dylann Roof during Bible study in Charleston.

But the KKK leader said he'll rally in support of flying the Confederate Flag fly in every Southern state, despite Governor Nikki Haley's response: "This is our state, and they are not welcome."

"Our Grand Dragon lives 20 minutes from the State House, where the flag's at," Spears said. "That's where we'll be holding a cross lighting at the end of the night."

News of the rally makes Loretta Torres sick to her stomach.

"I just can't believe it," Torress said. "I was in Charleston yesterday, and I heard that, and I'm in disbelief that in the year 2015 we still have people who have that mentality in the South."

The Klan protest is also disappointing to members of Sons of Confederate Veterans too, like Retired Colonel William Hollingsworth.

"They are not, in any way, shape, or form, associated with the Sons of Confederate Veterans or will you find anyone there that really knows the history of the Confederate soldier or the Southern people," Hollingsworth said. "They are the racists."

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