Nine KKK Members Showed Up To Rally In Dayton, Were Met With 600 Counter-Protesters

Counter-protesters respond to a KKK rally in Dayton, Ohio.
Matthew Hatcher / Getty Images

A much-publicized Ku Klux Klan rally planned for Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday only drew nine members of the notoriously racist group — and they were met with a total of 600 counter-protesters ready to drown them out.

The plans for the KKK rally had put the Ohio city on edge and fearful of some of the violent clashes that have taken place in recent months between racist groups and counter-protesters. As Time magazine noted, those fears appeared to be unfounded, as the KKK apparently decided to stay away, with just nine members showing up to take part in the planned rally.

The small group attempted to chant racist slogans, but were drowned out by the hundreds of people who came to meet them. A report from WHIO TV7 noted that the counter-protesters managed to shout down the KKK members every time they tried to speak, essentially thwarting the protest. A Church of God group from Greenville also traveled to Dayton to take part in the counter-protest, singing “Amazing Grace” loudly to drown out the racist group.

Other religious groups also took part in the counter-protest, including a number of Quakers. Some of the counter-protesters wore traditional Black Panther garb, while some had scarves over their faces in adopting the clothing associated with the anti-racist group Antifa.

All but one of the KKK members had their faces covered.

Those who showed up to oppose the KKK had signs telling them that hatred was not welcome in the city. Many local businesses joined in as well, placing signs outside bars and restaurants saying that the racist group was not welcome and that they would not serve members of the KKK.

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In all, the counter-protesters were outnumbered by a ratio of roughly 100 to 1. There were roughly 350 police officers called into duty as well, though the group of white supremacists was so small that there were no violent clashes like what was seen in Charlottesville, Virginia, or Portland, Oregon, in recent months.

The large and organized response to the racist group earned praise from some local leaders.

“There is a great crowd of people down here on Main Street,” City Commissioner Darryl Fairchild told WHIO TV7. “This is probably Dayton at its best.”

The KKK rally was not without impact on the city of Dayton, however. City Manager Shelley Dickstein told the Daily News that the rally cost the city roughly $650,000 in increased personnel and security costs.