About 50 members of the Ku Klux Klan, fewer than half of them in robes and hoods, marched briefly Saturday before a hostile crowd in suburban Philadelphia.
Police, who outnumbered marchers four to one, picked up a Klansman who was allegedly carrying a concealed weapon, but no charges were filed against him. Five counter-demonstrators were arraigned on charges ranging from simple assault and recklessly endangering others to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.Police reported one injury to an officer who was kicked in the leg by a police horse in the tiny, predominately white borough of Parkside.
The Klan circumvented a quickly approved borough ordinance aimed at denying them a parade permit by taking their case to federal court.
Under an agreement between Parkside and the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the Klan, up to 100 Klansmen were allowed to take part in their Armed Forces Day march for no more than one hour and to hand out leaflets and speak through a bullhorn.
The borough called on 200 state police officers, county prison guards, sheriff's deputies, police from neighboring municipalities and constables who turned out in riot gear, lining the borough's main street at 10- to 15-foot intervals.
The Klan arrived in a bus at one end of the march route, where a hostile crowd had gathered.
Any message the Klan may have wanted to spread was drowned out by a state police helicopter that hovered overhead and by the shouts of the crowd.
"Go back to where you belong," said one white man.
"Bring your group to Chester and see what you get," said a black.
Chester is a neighboring, predominately black city about 10 miles southwest of Philadelphia.
The Chester branch of the NAACP was invited to observe the march upon its decision against renewing a request to stage a counter-march.
John Shelton, president of the Chester NAACP, watched from the curbside and said, "As far as we are concerned the march was ineffective."
One woman was arrested as she dashed into the street to grab a hood off one marcher. As police grabbed her, mounted police moved in and one horse kicked a prison guard who was trying to control the crowd. He was knocked to the street and several bottles thrown from the crowd smashed near him.
Police turned aside members of the Revolutionary Communist Party.