Klan plans fall rally in Sask., says leader
The leader of the Canadian branch of the Ku Klux Klan says the group is alive and well in Saskatchewan, which an anti-racism activist says is cause for concern.
Klan leader Christian Waters claimsthegroup has attracted new members in this province over the past few years.
The group, which has roots in the post-Civil War southern U.S., has gained notoriety for racist views and for racially motivated violence directed mainly at black people.
Waters said he was drawn to the whites-only group after watching crime rates spiral out of control in the inner-city Regina neighbourhood where he lives, and heblames aboriginal gangs for the area's problems.
In an interview, he said his group isn't violent, and plans on staging rallies advocating for stricter controls on immigration and harsher punishments for violent crimes.
"If making me a racist is being in love with my race and wanting to stand up for my culture and my heritage for my people, then I guess society does have to look at me as a racist," he said. "Do I consider myself as a racist? Absolutely not."
Bob Hughes, a spokesman for the Saskatchewan Coalition Against Racism, said he's concerned.
Hughes said he hears racist comments all the time in the province, and isn't surprised the group has resurfaced.
He said groups like the KKK can seriously destabilize communities.
"Lots of other places in the world … were very peaceful,"Hughes said. "These types of groups have brought them into very serious inter-racial conflict."
Waters said the group plans on staging its first rally in the province later this fall.
Klan activity has been a part of Saskatchewan's history. In the late 1920s, Klan organizers held rallies and raised money. Support faded in the 1930s.