On May 9th, 1998, the Ann Arbor city
government shelled out $137,000 of public money to stage rally of the Ku Klux Klan. The
city government rolled out the red carpet, and providing the violent racists with a
police-chauffeured shuttle service. Despite government bankrolling, the KKK rally was shut
down halfway through. This important victory was secured largely through the effort and
coordination of NWROC and ARA.
Now, the same government that said "cost is no issue"
when it came to presenting itself as the defender of the civil liberties and free speech
for the KKK is sparing no expense to suppress the civil liberties and free speech of
antiracists. The same government that has not spent a dime challenging the KKKs
"right" to rally at the city hall under the protection of an army of police is
now sparing no expense witchhunting the opponents of the KKK and Nazis.
What is the crime of those charged? Their only "crime" is
opposing the government-bankrolled attempt by the Ku Klux Klan to set up their hateful
operation here in southeast Michigan.
The men and women who are being dragged into court by the government
witchhunt are among the hundreds of people who opposed the May 9th rally by the
KKK in Ann Arbor. They are black, Latino, Asian and white, male and female, politically
affiliated and independent. They include long time Ann Arbor residents and University
of Michigan students, range in age from 15 into their 60s and come from all walks of life.
They are people who share the conviction of a nearly unanimous majority
of citizens of Ann Arbor who do not want the KKK rallying, recruiting, burning churches
or making other attacks in the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti community and who oppose the government
spending fortunes of tax dollars to facilitate the growth violent racist organizations.