Hacker vigilante group Anonymous announced last week what it claims to be a list of the members of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan (KKK), a group of extremists that promotes “white supremacy,” “white nationalism,” and “anti-immigration.”
The list is composed of 1,000 alleged KKK members and was supposed to be released on Thursday’s Millions Mask March, a demonstration where Anonymous supporters were to wear their Guy Fawkes masks and assemble in front of city halls around the world.
— Huffington Post (@HuffingtonPost) November 2, 2015
The group made an announcement last week that they already have the list and that it would be released on November 5.
However, Twitter accounts associated with the group, like @YourAnonNews, have already revealed details for 80 alleged members, and these were posted on the file-sharing website PasteBin.
The data revealed that some of the KKK’s alleged members include U.S. mayors and senators.
One of the names that came up on the list is Knoxville, Tennessee mayor Madeline Rogero. However, Rogero quickly refuted the allegations, saying that her political career began on fighting for the rights of farm workers with Cesar Chavez.
— People magazine (@people) November 3, 2015
In addition, she said that she has been working on social justice and equality issues for decades.
Mayor Jim Gray of Lexington, Kentucky, also “vigorously denied” his involvement with the group, saying he is opposed to everything that KKK stands for.
“I have no idea where this information came from, but wherever it came from, it is wrong,” he added.
Meanwhile, another group that is associated with Anonymous, Operation KKK, said that they were not responsible for the alleged list that was released on Monday.
— Newsweek (@Newsweek) November 3, 2015
The Twitter post mentioned that they have not yet revealed any details about the list and that they are not responsible for the “initial” list.
Operation KKK was reportedly formed by Anonymous in order to track down and reveal the names of the group’s members.
However, Thomas Robb, the KKK’s national director told TIME that his member list “remains a safely guarded secret.” He also said that the actual list of the KKK members is stored in his computer at home, which is not connected to the Internet.
Another computer reportedly has another copy, but that one, too, is not connected to the Internet.
“They’d have to come in here and download it directly at the computer on a floppy disk—or, a drive—and it would be absurd for them to say that,” Robb said in the interview.
In addition, Robb said that Anonymous is targeting them in order to keep people from joining groups like them.
A KKK leader says you shouldn’t believe Anonymous https://t.co/rU0mvnPPwt
— TIME.com (@TIME) November 3, 2015
The clash between KKK and Anonymous began in November of 2014, after the KKK threatened to take lethal action against peaceful Ferguson protesters in Missouri.
The town was the focal point of racial tension after the shooting incident involving unarmed black teen Michael Brown in August of that year.
“You are more than extremists. You are more than a hate group,” the statement by Anonymous said.
In addition, the hacker vigilante group also mentioned that KKK operates like terrorists, and so they should be recognized as such. They allegedly “hide” their identities and “infiltrate society on every level.”
The statement claims that the Ku Klux Klan have had blood on their hands for almost 200 years, referring to the alleged terrorist attacks and violence perpetrated by the group throughout U.S. history.
However, Imperial Wizard Chris Barker of the Loyal White Knights, another KKK leader said that their members are not afraid of public demonstrations, and that the Klan members are “not afraid of being known.”
“We do public demonstrations,” he said. “You won’t see none of our members running around with a mask.”
[Image via YouTube]