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Ku Klux Klan to rally on Gettysburg, Pa., battlefield

GETTYSBURG, Pa. -- The Maryland-based Traditional Rebel Knights of the Ku Klux Klan have obtained permission to hold a one-hour rally, starting at noon, on Saturday, on the Gettysburg Battlefield.

Katie Lawhon, spokesperson with the Gettysburg National Military Park confirmed that a permit, which permits a maximum of 20 people to rally, was approved by National Park Service officials. The actual rally is scheduled to take place on a lawn, just north of Union Gen. George Gordon Meade's Headquarters on Taneytown Road, not far from the Soldier's National Cemetery, and east of the area where Pickett's Charge occurred on July 3, 1863.

The Taneytown Road will not be closed. Lawhon said NPS rangers, plus local and state police will "staff the event."

On Nov. 9, 2013, a similar rally, which was to be held by the a separate Maryland KKK group, the Confederate White Knights. That event was canceled when the National Park Service shut down due to the government sequestration.

In May of this year, a Missouri-based KKK group announced that it was planning to provide crime watch patrols and a crime watch hotline, in two other Pennsylvania municipalities in neighboring York and Cumberland counties. While the hotline had been established, police departments in those areas said they had not been informed, nor condoned the KKK operation of those groups.

In the past, social service groups opposed to the presence and message of the KKK have sponsored unity rallies. It is expected for that tradition to continue.