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HARMONY, NC (WBTV) - About a hundred protestors descended on the small town of Harmony Saturday afternoon.
The group held signs reading "Peace and Love" and other messages of dislike of the thought of the Klu Klux Klan holding a rally there.
Imperial Wizard Chris Barker told WBTV earlier this week that the group chose Harmony because a member of the group lives there and has 20-acres that is private and big enough for the expected crowd.
One of the protest organizers, Barbara O'Bryan, says she was supposed to meet with Barker but then learned the rally was moved out of town.
"A lot of people said ignore the Klan..don't give them attention. But I'm tired of ignoring hatred and I like to think this did make a difference because they decided to move to Virginia because they weren't welcome in Harmony," O'Bryan said.
Whisperings of where the rally was supposed to be held left many folks wanting a peek. WBTV watched as locals and out-of-towners scrambled to find the spot. It caused quite a headache for some residents who watched their quiet surroundings turn into a circus. WBTV went by one of the spots locals say they saw numerous cars come and go throughout the afternoon. A crew did spot people in KKK shirts but were told the rally wasn't being held there.
"It sounds like something out of 1950. The human race needs to move forward. We have bigger problems than this," one protestor said.
"We might be different colors and different nationalities but we're all the same and we need to love each other..come together and love one another," Resident Sandra Johnson said.
On Wednesday, Barker wouldn't go into specifics as to where the rally was actually being held. He would only say that the event is slated to start around noon and last until around 10 p.m. Calls to Barker Saturday about the move to Virginia were not returned.
The rally was expected to end with a "cross lighting at dusk," according to a flyer.
When asked about the reasoning behind the cross lighting, Barker says its a ritual that started with the six founding members of the KKK, who would go to the highest point and light a cross so members would know where to meet.
He says it's also a symbol that Christ is the light of the world.
Barker told WBTV that a naturalization ceremony, a swearing in for new members, will also be part of the rally. He says there is expected to be more than 20 new members from North Carolina.
"The Blacks have the NAACP the Mexicans La Raza and the Jews have the ADL," the website for the Loyal White Knights states. "We whites all across America have the Ku Klux Klan; fighting for a Brighter Whiter America."
He questions why other groups can have organizations for the betterment of their race, but whites can't.
"The KKK has done a lot of good things over the years - helped a lot of people," Barker said. "It's a shame when someone is 'White and Proud' that they get labeled a racist."