9 Ku Klux Klan members hold rally in Dayton Ohio, promptly get swamped by 600 protesters

The Ku Klux Klan had a surprise
Protesters have a few words for the Ku Klux Klan in Dayton, Ohio. Screen capture by TIME video

Ku Klux Klan members had plenty of company at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, Saturday. But things probably weren’t going as the nine Klan members had hoped because they found themselves accompanied by more than 600 people protesting racism.

Dayton police took precautions to ensure safety, but overall, the rally was largely peaceful, said Dayton police public information specialist Cara Neace, Time reports. All told, about 350 police officers assembled for the rally.

The nine members from the Honorable Sacred Knights of Madison, Indiana were confined to the courthouse square and separated from the protesters by a chain link fence. And at the end of the protest, there were “no arrests, no citations, and no use of force,” Neace said.

Klan opponents carried signs that read: “You are not welcome here,” “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and “Get your hatin’ out of Dayton.”

City leaders had worried the rally would mirror the tragic events in Charlottesville, Virginia in 2017, but in this city of 140,000 people, the Klan members were obviously outnumbered, Mother Jones reports.

Some of the protesters dressed in clothing that supported the Black Panthers and the Antifa and shouted “Band against the Klan,” local news reported.

“There is a great crowd of people down here on Main Street,” City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild told a local news station. “This is probably Dayton at its best.”

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley expressed her relief on Twitter that the day had remained peaceful.

“This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work — making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton,” she wrote.

While it’s unlikely, perhaps these Klan supporters have learned their hate is vastly outnumbered by love, by understanding and acceptance. Values that the Klan never promotes. Ever.

Featured image courtesy of the video above