FREDERICK, Md. – After holding a rally on the Gettysburg battlefield, a Maryland-based Ku Klux Klan group traveled to Frederick, Md., to protest the 3rd Annual Frederick Pride event.
After spending about a half hour at Gettysburg, protesting President Barack Obama, minorities, gays, Jews, Democrats, Republicans and others, as the rally ended at 1 p.m., Saturday, a spokesman for the 10-member Maryland group representing the Traditional Rebel Knights of the KKK, announced that they were on their way to the gay pride event being held in Frederick. Held at Carroll Creek Linear Park, the event organized by The Frederick Center, and organization that supports lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community and its allies.
Standing on a Carroll Creek bridge, the KKK group shouted epithets and slurs against those attending the event. A Frederick Police Department sergeant said the group had its say and left about a half hour later.
About 3,000 people attended the event, along with more than 40 businesses. The Frederick Pride event was the last in a scheduled series of events held in connection with the The Frederick Center.
At the rally in Gettysburg, about 50 spectators, attended. Many of them had stumbled upon the rally by accident.
A number of the spectators taunted and heckled the KKK members, who were taking turns speaking on a megaphone. The KKK group was composed of seven men and three women. Most were dressed in Klan ceremonial robes.
Tammy Pedon and Marguerethe Jaede, both of Columbus, Ohio, who described themselves as lacrosse moms, yelled at Klan members and openly and loudly ridiculed statements made by Klan members. Pedon and Jaede were attending a lacrosse sports camp with their sons, which was being held at nearby Gettysburg College.
“I had been walking the battlefield today, when I noticed the flags and asked a park ranger what was happening,” Pedon said. “He told me and I was in absolute disbelief this could happen. I can’t believe the ignorance. It’s ignorance with a ginormous capital ‘I.’ It was worse than I could have ever imagined.”
When Pedon learned of the rally, she texted Jaede to alert her what was occurring at the park. At first Jaede thought Pedon was joking, but quickly realized it was no joke.
“If people are going to say this stuff, then somebody needs to be there to respond,” Jaede said. “You can’t let people spew their ignorance without a response. You don’t want to be a silent partner in such ignorance.”
Among the spectators were about five members of a different Maryland klavern. John Kries, the Pennsylvania Grand Dragon of the Confederate White Knights of the KKK, also based in Maryland, said he, attended to lend his support and to hear what they had to say.
State and local police assisted Gettysburg National Military Park rangers with crowd control. Pennsylvania State Police also supplied a mounted unit.