A Klu Klux Klan group drew nine members to its rally in downtown Dayton on Saturday, as well as hundreds of counterprotesters. The rally was planned by the Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana, which obtained a permit, the Hill reports. The Southern Poverty Law Center has identified it as a KKK hate group. During the three-hour rally, members of the group could be seen waving KKK flags and the U.S. flag behind police escorts. Counterprotesters gathered at the opposite side of Courthouse Square. The event was peaceful. "There is a great crowd of people down here on Main Street," a city commissioner told WHIO, per Time. "This is probably Dayton at its best."
Daj'za Demmings, an engineer and president of Dayton Young Black Professionals, said she organized counterdemonstration efforts. "We have Black Panther people that are here from the '50s and the '60s from California. We have people from Haiti here. We have people from the Bahamas. We just have so many African coalition groups that are just coming to be the peace that they don’t expect us to be in situations like this," Demmings said, per the Hill. An 18-year-old student said she was appalled that the rally was taking place in her city, and expressed hope that the group's members "get that people are just not having any of the racism. It's not fair to the community." Businesses conveyed their views, per Time, by posting signs such as, "Get Your Hatin' Out of Dayton." (Read more hate groups stories.)