Mayor responds to KKK's promise of huge rally - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Mayor responds to KKK's promise of huge rally

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MEMPHIS, TN -

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton is answering questions about tensions surrounding the city's Confederate parks. He also addressed the promise by the KKK to hold its largest rally ever in the Bluff City.

He is now taking a position on the looming KKK rally. The rally is reportedly being organized in response to the City Council voting to change the names of three parks honoring controversial Confederates.

"If they wish to come, I won't say they're welcome, " Wharton said. "I'll say this, if they wish to come, they have the same right to express themselves as anybody else."

The mayor says peaceful demonstrations are more of a challenge for law enforcement these days.

"I do think now peaceful demonstrations are more problematical than in the past because so many people have permits and carrying weapons. If you're wearing a robe, we can't see your weapon," he said.

Wharton says the police department and all of the city's divisions are on alert and ready, come what may.

The mayor hopes the KKK's plans do not give the city a black eye.

"I hope we will not have the demonstration. We have so many positive things going on for this city," he explained. "I would hate for us to become known nationally or internationally as the place where they're having planned demonstrations."

The KKK has not given a concrete date on the rally.

Copyright 2013 WMC-TV. All rights reserved.

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