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December 18, 2014

Local officials, civil rights groups speak against Klan fliers

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Posted: Monday, June 23, 2014 4:36 pm | Updated: 4:46 pm, Mon Jun 23, 2014.

Local civil rights leaders and city and county officials gathered Monday to denounce a Ku Klux Klan group’s distribution of  fliers in the area on Father’s Day.

Several residents in Saks, Wellborn and Oxford found fliers from the United Klans of America on their lawns June 15. The act of distributing such material — which didn’t directly threaten any person or group — isn’t illegal, local law enforcement officials have said. The pamphlets made many of those residents uncomfortable and angry, however.

Some of those residents worry about letting their children play outside, said David Baker, president of the Calhoun County chapter of the NAACP, speaking at the press conference Monday in front of the Calhoun County Courthouse.

“We’re not going to tolerate this kind of thing going on in Anniston, Alabama,” Baker told the group of 20 or so black residents gathered at the courthouse.

County Commissioner Fred Wilson read a resolution from the commission which denounced the UKA, asking the group to “cease and desist” its actions in the county.

“We have a rainbow of colors in this county, and we all are brothers,” Wilson read from the resolution.

Anniston city councilmen Seyram Selase and David Reddick both spoke at the conference, but no white city officials or local law enforcement representatives were there, a fact mentioned by a speaker and several attendees at the press conference.

Reddick said Anniston Mayor Vaughn Stewart and Sheriff Larry Amerson could not attend the conference due to scheduling conflicts, but had both told him they would have attended otherwise.

Attempts to reach Amerson for comment Monday were unsuccessful.

Aziza Jackson, the city of Aniston's public information officer, confirmed that Stewart did have previously scheduled meetings to attend Monday.

Stewart issued a press release on June 16 which called the white supremacist group’s actions “disappointing.”

Baker asked that the UKA have a rally instead of throwing flyers into yards “so that we’ll know who you are.”

“We are united here in Anniston, Alabama. We’re standing fast, and we’re not going to move,” Baker said.

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