Former KKK Leader To Appear At Anti-Immigration Rally in Chatham County
Posted February 15, 2000 6:00 a.m. EST
SILER CITY — An anti-immigration rally in a small Chatham County town is attracting national attention. A famous former Ku Klux Klan leader is coming, but some county officials are asking people to stay home.
On Saturday at noon, white supremacist David Duke will be in town. Some residents say he will not be a welcome guest.
"They should not be doing this against Mexicans," says Siler City resident Charles Craft. "They are here to make a living like everybody else."
Duke is coming to Siler City to help lead a demonstration organized by resident Richard Vanderford.
In a telephone interview, Duke told WRAL that "Siler City is being overrun by Mexicans. At some point, we've got to make a stand to preserve our American heritage."
Some residents in the community have the same feelings as Duke.
"They are starting to take my mother's job," says Siler City resident Travis Bray. "They are moving some plants down there, and they are taking a lot of jobs from people. I would rather live without them."
Members of the mostly Hispanic congregation at St. Julia's Catholic Church are holding a special mass Friday night, praying for peace.
"We are trying to get the word out to the Hispanic and English communities, inviting everyone to come," says Kathleen Flynn of St. Julia's Church. "The intention of the mass will be for peace for the immigrant people here in Siler City and throughout the world."
Leaders of the church as well as city and police officials are urging people to stay at home Saturday. Extra police and deputies have been called in for the weekend rally.