At the same time, upwards of 1,000 counter protestors are expected to turn up at the square, including the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense.
White supremacists clash with counter protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., Augu
White supremacists clash with counter protesters at a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S., August 12, 2017. (photo credit: REUTERS/JOSHUA ROBERTS)
A KKK rally scheduled to be held on May 25 in Dayton, Ohio, “is a dangerous situation,” according to Rabbi Ari Ballaban, local head of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC).
On Saturday, an Indiana-based affiliate of the KKK, the Honorable Sacred Knights, will hold a rally from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. The group, which should number only about 20 people, will mask their faces and carry certain firearms, according to its agreement with the city.
At the same time, upwards of 1,000 counter-protesters are expected to turn up at the square, including the New Black Panther Party for Self-Defense – a US-based black nationalist organization founded in Dallas that has been listed as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center – and members of the Antifa movement, a conglomeration of left-wing autonomous, militant anti-fascist groups in the United States.
Antifa has a record of scuffling with white supremacists, and was the group that fought against them in Charlottesville in 2017. Then, white nationalist groups came in helmets and matching uniforms, and used shields, batons and clubs – until an Ohio man used his car as a weapon, ramming into a crowd and killing a 32-year-old anti-racist protester. More than 70 people were injured.
“The atmosphere at the rally will be contentious,” Cathy Gardner, CEO of the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton, said in a statement about the May 25 Dayton event. “The threat for potential danger will be high… We know the best option is to stay as far away as possible from Courthouse Square.”
The Dayton City government website devoted a page to the rally, explaining that while city officials and other local leaders are urging the community to avoid the downtown area on May 25, the city has implemented numerous training and operational initiatives as preparation for possible emergencies and large demonstrations.
“Public safety is our prime concern, and we are preparing for that through our police department, our fire department and a number of different departments within the city of Dayton,” Martin Gehres, an assistant city attorney told The Dayton Daily News.
The government site says the city has convened a committee on safety and emergency preparedness, and launched a series of trainings for municipal employees to become familiar with the National Incident Management and Incident Command systems. Senior city employees are receiving more advanced NIMS/ICS training.
On the day of the event, Dayton police are asking for community support.
“If you witness someone in need of medical attention, serious injury, or a life-threatening emergency, please call 911,” the government website reads. “If you see something that looks suspicious, contact 333-COPS or 225-HELP.” Both are non-emergency numbers to Regional Dispatch.
Marshall Weiss, editor and publisher of the Dayton Jewish Observer, told The Jerusalem Post that the police have not shared specifics about their plans “because they are trying to protect their security tactics.”
He noted that these rallies are uncommon in Ohio. The last time such an event took place in Courthouse Square was in 1994. There was a similar rally in Cincinnati in the late 1990s.
“We are legally obligated to provide access to public spaces where individuals can exercise their freedom of speech and right to assemble,” Montgomery County administrator Michael Colbert told The Dayton Daily News.
Ballaban told the Post that there have been “a wide-range of emotional responses” to the upcoming rally by the Jewish community.
“I know people who are very nervous,” he said, “but the bulk of the community fits into the [category] of having an awareness of safety concerns, but not so afraid that they are going to go into hiding for the weekend.”
The Dayton Jewish community numbers around 5,000 people, according to the Jewish Virtual Library. It has several congregations.
Ballaban said that the JCRC has been in close contact with a variety of local security organizations since it became understood that the KKK would protest. Furthermore, he said that one of the lessons the Jewish community has learned from recent, tragic incidents – like the Tree of Life massacre in Pittsburgh and the shooting attack at a Chabad synagogue in Poway – is that “The key to staying safe is being prepared.”
“We worked with the Anti-Defamation League, who helped to organize us with higher-level law enforcement organizations,” Ballaban explained. “But none of us are fortune tellers. Do we know what is going to happen? Certainly not. That is why we are urging people: There is no reason to put yourself in a dangerous position and show up to something that is a powder keg.”
Instead, the JCRC has partnered with the NAACP on a peaceful alternative rally that will be held at Dayton’s McIntosh Park, at the same time at the KKK rally. That event is being coined “Afternoon of Love, Unity, Peace and Inclusion,” and will include food trucks and live music. More than two dozen community organizations have signed on as partners.
Gardner in her statement called on the community to participate to “counter the hate that will no doubt be spewed during the [KKK] rally.”
In addition, the NAACP will host a “cleaning of Courthouse Square” on May 26 from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. to “wash away the hate from our city.”
Gardner said the KKK members want to evoke feelings of fear throughout the community; Ballaban agreed.
“The KKK’s intention is to provoke ire in the community,” he said. “The way to counteract that is to come together and show them that this community is more united than the KKK might want to imagine.” He said what will take place at Courthouse Square “does not represent the city.”
“God willing, everyone will be safe,” Ballaban continued, “but I wouldn’t tell my loved ones to be there.”
Aug 16, 2019 0
Aug 16, 2019 0
Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei speaks following his election victory. Photo: Reuters/Jose Cabezas.
A prominent Guatemalan supporter of Israel who once said, “He who is Israel’s enemy is Guatemala’s enemy,” won the country’s presidential election with 58.5 percent of the vote, results on Monday confirmed.
Conservative candidate Alejandro Giammattei emerged victorious in the vote in the second round of elections on Sunday, beating his rival Sandra Torres, a former first lady.
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German exports to Iran fell by nearly half in the first six months of 2019, data showed on Monday, suggesting companies are scaling back business ties with Tehran to avoid trouble with the United States after Washington reimposed sanctions.
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The New York Times logo. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.
A New York Times editor is in trouble for what the Times calls repeated poor judgment on social media.
The editor, Jonathan Weisman, works in the Times Washington bureau with the title “deputy Washington editor” and is the author of the 2018 book (((Semitism))): Being Jewish in the Age Of Trump.
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“Mighty Waves,” the Navy’s large-scale multinational exercise simulating the aftermath of a major earthquake. (photo credit: IDF SPOKESPERSON’S UNIT)
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A food market in Tel Aviv, Israel. Photo: Dr. Avishai Teicher vis Wikimedia Commons.
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Aug 16, 2019 0A 2018 demonstration against antisemitism in Berlin. Photo: Reuters/Fabrizio Bensch. Another rabbi has been attacked in the streets of Berlin, the German capital, by male assailants who pushed him to...
Mass shootings are nothing new in the United States, but their sudden rise is ballooning into a shocking nationwide epidemic. Many blame a toxic political culture that is accentuating divisions rather than commonalities between Americans, and the ease in which Americans can access guns, including automatic assault rifles.
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This week my family and I have the privilege of celebrating two significant and interrelated milestones. We celebrate the 15th anniversary of our arrival in Israel, taking on citizenship and planting our roots firmly in our historic homeland. And we celebrate (yes, celebrate) the induction into the IDF of our oldest son.
When our youngest son was born in Jerusalem, we knew that he would serve in the army, an obligation and privilege as an Israeli Jew, pretty much as genetic as his actual DNA. But when our oldest son was born in N.J., we didn’t know this would be his destiny.