Small group of KKK members met by large group of protesters at Indiana ‘kookout’

Protesters argue with KKK members at a rally in Madison, Indiana on Saturday afternoon. Louisville Courier Journal

MADISON, Indiana — A small group of Ku Klux Klan members showed up briefly for what had been planned as a second annual “kookout” in a park near the Ohio River.

They arrived in three vehicles and wore clothes with Confederate flags or KKK logos, and many were wearing masks. They got to the Indiana park around 1:45 p.m. on Saturday, and left about 20 minutes later.

They were met by a much larger group of protesters, some of whom also wore bandannas to cover their faces. The two sides yelled at each other and argued while standing between cars in a gravel parking lot near some picnic tables and a basketball court.

The Indiana State Police and other law enforcement were present. The Klan members left on their own, and no arrests were made. The counter protesters then returned to the covered picnic tables where they had been waiting, the same place where the Klan had planned to hold its event.

An anonymous Klan spokesperson said in an email to the Courier Journal on Monday that the Madison Parks and Recreation Department denied the rally’s reservation for the “kookout” but “we do plan to be there” anyway.

The denial, the statement said, was based on the event being public. The flyer announcing the event said the private event requires an invitation.

About 300 people protested last year’s event, saying the Klan’s message was divisive and not welcome in their town.

Residents from surrounding towns have said in the past they don’t want to be associated with the KKK.

*story by The Courier-Journal