A Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group scheduled a rally last weekend in Dayton, Ohio. In total, nine people showed up in support. But nearly 600 counter-protesters gathered to demonstrate their opposition. As a microcosm of larger conflicts over race and inequality in America, the event's potential for a clash elevated it to the national stage.
The rally was hosted by the Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana, which the Southern Poverty Law Center has identified as a KKK hate group.
More than 350 police officers were present to monitor the demonstrations and maintain peace in Dayton. To facilitate peaceful protest, members of the Klan-affiliated group were restricted to the courthouse square, separated by a fence from the other demonstrators.
The protest remained peaceful: "no arrests, no citations and no use of force," Cara Neace, a Dayton police public information specialist told Time.
The anti-Klan demonstrators included Antifa members, members of religious groups, New Black Panthers, and university students, the New York Times reported. A variety of local businesses also supported the counter-protesters, with "Get your hatin' out of Dayton" signs.
While the demonstrations were peaceful, they were also expensive: Overall, costs associated with the rally—such as law enforcement—amounted to roughly $650,000, Dayton City Manager Shelley Dickstein told the Dayton Daily News.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley expressed her relief at the peaceful outcome of the protests in a statement published on Twitter. However, she noted that the event highlighted the racial inequality that remains a pervasive issue in Dayton (Dayton is one of the most racially segregated cities in America). "This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work—making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton," Whaley wrote.