Sunday, August 05, 2007

Low turnout at white supremacist rally

Updated: Aug 4, 2007 05:29 PM

KALAMAZOO -- Police say Saturday's rally was quiet compared to past rallies.

Around 200 people came out, mostly protesters. That number not comparing to over 400 officers on duty.

It helped, they say, to let the rally take place in the parking lot of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety where they could easily take control of any situation.

The tapes and gates were in place early Saturday morning.

Police officers filed in to man their stations. Many more located at street corners all over Kalamazoo.

A white supremacist group was set to rally at 1:00 p.m. Saturday.

Bashun Bransn told 24 Hour News 8 he came out to see what it was all about.

"I just look at the stupidity and go back and get on the track. This is just disgusting to me," Bransn said.

He says he'll use what he hears to try and teach a message about peace through music as Bransn is a rapper.

While others looked on, the words of radio talk show host Hal Turner, the man leading the rally, rang through a vacant parking lot.

"Behavior is the reason this rally has to occur," Turner said. "The city of Kalamazoo has a problem with black gangs."

It's a message Turner has sent e-mails about trying to get publicity.

Saturday his words were only heard for an hour.

Some people, however, ignored those words completely. Across town a peace rally where families came together.

"The ones for unity in the community are out here," Yolanda Neals told 24 Hour News 8.

The numbers cut down on the numbers in town at the rally, something police are thankful for.

"It couldn't have gone any better as far as the number of people that showed up an the control we've seen so far," said Captain Joe Taylor of Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety.

Two people were arrested. One for Resisting & Obstructing an officer and another for Interfering with an officer, in the aftermath of the event.

While they're pleased with the low turn-out, they say this is not over yet. They will be following up in town all evening to make sure there are no problems between the white supremacist group and protesters.

Source: WoodTV

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