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Strong Police Showing at Klan March

February 28, 1993 GMT

NEWARK, Del. (AP) _ About 100 Ku Klux Klan members and other white supremacists marched through this college town Saturday chanting ″white power″ while observers threw snowballs and cursed them.

About 2,500 people lined the route of the parade, which lasted barely 15 minutes. The police presence almost overshadowed the demonstration, in which no one was hurt and only one person arrested.

″How can you predict this? I said if it went real well it would look like overkill,″ Newark police Chief William Hogan said.

He would not disclose how many officers were on duty, but Newark, New Castle County, Wilmington, University of Delaware and Delaware State Police provided baton-wielding officers in riot gear.

They were stationed every few feet along both sides of the parade route and at least another 75 followed along with the marchers. There were officers with dogs, officers on horses and a police helicopter flying overhead.

Chester Doles, the imperial officer of the Territorial Klans of America, had said the march was a protest against homosexuals and race mixing, and to test Delaware’s so-called ″mask law.″

Some Klan members wore the traditional white robes, complete with hoods, while others wore camouflage fatigue pants, black Klan T-shirts and ski masks or bandanas to partially conceal their faces.

When the General Assembly passed the law several years ago, it was chiefly aimed at preventing Klan members from covering their faces during such marches.

No one was arrested for concealing his face Saturday. The attorney general’s office said since no one’s rights were being violated, wearing a mask was insufficient reason for an arrest.

The one arrest was for trespassing when a man sat in the middle of the street just as the march was beginning, Hogan said.