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Counter-protesters rally against potential KKK march in Durham, North Carolina
City officials and police in Durham, N.C., said they faced hundreds of counter-protesters Friday afternoon who had gathered against what they thought could have been a Ku Klux Klan march.The move came a week after a fatal clash in Charlottesville, Virginia, between white supremacists, neo-Nazis and counter protesters left the country shocked. Organizers who said Klan members who were planning to march had turned back. “This is a victory that we will claim today,” said Serena Sebring, of Southerners on New Ground, the Miami Herald reported.
Earlier, rumors circulated through the college town that the Klan would be holding a rally in downtown Durham Friday afternoon, Durham Director of Public Affairs Beverly Thompson said. She added that the city has issued no permits for a protest or counter protest.In a statement from the Durham County Sheriff's office, officials said they had not confirmed reports of Klan activity. News spread that the Klan would rally at 4 p.m., but the sheriff's office dispelled that rumor with a tweet.
"I want to continue urging residents to rely upon verified information to avoid circulating rumors that can put lives at risk," a sheriff's office statement said.
The counter-protesters burned confederate and white supremacist flags and held an impromptu dance off. They carried signs that said "We will not be intimidated," "History will not repeat" and "Black Lives Matter."
The city closed off a portion of East Main Street in front of the old court house building where a confederate statue had been torn down Monday.