FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Dozens of people gathered at the Dekalb County Courthouse to stand in solidarity against racial injustice and hate.
The gathering comes after weeks of rumblings that a meet and greet to bring new members into the Church of the Ku Klux Klan was set to take place at a private property in the area. A spokesperson for the Indiana Mutual Aid Coalition, who organized the event, says they are not protesting or rally against one specific group, but rather gathering to network with other people who stand against views that the KKK represents.
Organizers were handing out flyers asking people to avoid standing on the grass of the courthouse lawn and obey all traffic laws. They were also asked to avoid posting photos or videos of people to social media without their permission, and not to livestream the event, as well as not to antagonize any law enforcement.
After rumors of a planned meet and greet for the Church of the Ku Klux Klan surfaced near Auburn, several social justice groups gathered to amplify voices against racial injustice and hate, “We want to show that the majority the community doesn’t have those same views,” one attendee said.
Another added, “We’re here to make connections get different groups together so if something else like this occurs or we see a need in the state of Indiana, that needs to be filled, we’re ready. We’ve got the connections ready and we’re ready to go and show up and and really help out.”
Many in attendance were from the Northeast Indiana area who say they’re aware that support for the KKK exists, but insist it’s not the mindset of the majority, “Absolutely the KKK is alive and well in this area of Indiana. I’ve seen evidence of it, various places in my community, I know that there are many people with those views here, but many more of us than of them and that’s why I had to
come. There’s plenty of people who will stand against a and there’s also just plenty of people who, who aren’t racist and they just don’t want to see it anymore.”
The event also drew people from outside of the state, who say they felt pulled to participate because they believe the only way to fight back against hate is to speak out against every instance of it,
“I thought it would be a little bit more diverse than this but it’s kind of, you know what I expected. But, I think, you know, everybody should stand it at all times, you know, because it affects everybody together.”
Another individual visiting from outside the area said, “This is not my local regional community, but it is part of my national community. And in terms of being part of the Midwest as part of my life the regional community there. No, it’s not immediately my community, but it is a part of my national and regional community and it directly affects what happens across the board.”
Attendees also used this gathering as an opportunity to collect non-perishable food to be donated to community pantries in the area.
WANE 15 will have more information tonight on Nigthcast.