Anti-KKK protesters gather downtown - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Anti-KKK protesters gather downtown

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(WMC-TV) - Despite the rain, more than 1,000 people passed through police security Saturday to counter-protest in a designated anti-KKK spot.

Anti-KKK protesters lined the fence of their designated area for four and a half hours. No umbrellas, tripods or weapons of any kind were allowed inside. One protester was arrested during the rally. The person in custody is from Michigan, and was charged with disorderly conduct.

Many gathered for a variety of reasons – some to witness history and others to protest the KKK with some even upset with the amount of police present.

"I came here today because I want my kids to see what ignorance looks like," said anti-KKK protester Tra McFadden who is in an interracial family. "I wanted them to see this because they're young and they're coming up in an age where a lot of them, they've missed their ways and they don't know what the past is about. So I wanted them to see it first hand so that they don't fall in the same foot steps that my parents had.

Andre Flagg came to remember the 1998 rally, hoping history would not repeat itself.

"It was kind of hectic, we was closer and there was a lot of shouting back and forth then all of a sudden somebody threw a rock of something, and all of a sudden they started throwing tear gas," said Flagg recalling the last rally.

About an hour into the rally, 17-year-old Joseph Cartwright entered the protest wearing a confederate flag over his shoulders.

"I know my rights and I know I'm allowed to, that's why I have it one," said Cartwright.

Cartwright was with his family who were protesting the name change of the parks but not the KKK. He was escorted out by police, and was not allowed back in for his safety.

But the protest continued, rather peacefully.

"They're everywhere and they need to be weeded out and they need to be shown that no matter," said McFadden talking about the KKK's rally.

Everyone was cleared out by 3:40 p.m., and the streets opened by up by 5 p.m.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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