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A Maryland-based Ku Klux Klan group’s permit to hold an event on the hallowed grounds where the Battle of Gettysburg was fought during the Civil War has been approved.
According to the Associated Press, officials at the Gettysburg National Military Park said that the permit was approved to allow the group its First Amendment right to free speech. The Oct. 5 event will be held in the afternoon at Gen. George Meade's Headquarters.
“The group requested the permit under the first amendment of the United States Constitution, which grants all citizens the rights to freedom of speech,” the National Park Service said in a statement, notes the Evening Sun. “As custodians of land owned by the American people, the National Park Service has a responsibility to make that land available for exercising those rights.”
Richard Preston from Baltimore, the group’s Grand Wizard, is leading the rally. The BBC notes that Preston calls his group a “white separatist” organization. They are currently dedicated to getting President Barack Obama out of the White House. They are also pushing for new immigration restrictions.
“This country is flooded with illegal immigrants who don't belong here,” Preston told the Evening Sun. “We want our borders closed and for the federal government to spend more time on getting illegals out of our country and stop trying to police the world when we can't even police our own backyard.”
The group also claims that Obama was not born in the U.S. and needs to be impeached.
The park service added, “Additional law enforcement agencies will assist the park to make certain that demonstrators, visitors and staff experience a safe atmosphere on the day of the event.”
KKK groups have met before at Gettysburg, holding events there in 2006 and 2010. The same KKK group that plans to meet there next month held an event at the Antietam National Battlefield earlier this month.