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Klan Rallies To Protest White Principal’s Slaying

February 22, 1987 GMT

WINDER, Ga. (AP) _ Sixty-five Ku Klux Klan members and supporters rallied on the courthouse steps in this northeast Georgia town Saturday, protesting the killing of a white school principal in which a black teen-ager was charged.

Meanwhile, a judge in Cmming blocked a planned march by Klan members Sunday in Forsyth County, scene of violence and a massive counterprotest last month. The county has no black residents.

In Winder, members of the Southern White Knights of the KKK, wearing white Klan robes or combat fatigues, distributed Klan literature before the courthouse rally. Police and a crowd of about 300 watched the peaceful event, said Winder Police Chief Jimmy Terrell.

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Several speakers complained police had reminded them of a city ordinance against inflammatory language. Klansmen vowed to deliver ″uncensored″ speeches Saturday night at a cross-burning planned for just outside the Barrow County seat, in northeast Georgia.

The rally was called in response to the November stabbing death of Bethlehem Elementary School Principal Murray Kennedy. Keyvin Jones, 13, was arrested after the scuffle in the principal’s office and has been charged with murder.

A juvenile court judge’s ruling earlier this month that the teen-ager must stand trial as an adult drew protests from civil rights leaders including Southern Christian Leadership Conference President Joseph Lowery, who has tried to help with the youth’s defense.

″Lowery has been up here taking up money to represent the perpetrator,″ said J.B. Stoner of Marietta, who was convicted in the 1958 bombing of a black Alabama church. ″If he were a real Christian, he would be taking up money for the victims.″

Frank Shirley of Forsyth County said, ″In Barrow County, we have a problem with interference of the judicial system by Lowery and others. We want that perpetrator to have a fair trial, but Lowery and the others want him cut loose.″

Shirley was seen by a national TV audience earlier this month as he denounced blacks and Jews on a telecast of ″The Oprah Winfrey Show″ from Forsyth County, the site of a massive civil rights march last month.

The Windsor rally was the first of two scheduled Klan demonstrations in north Georgia over the weekend. The Southern White Knights and the North Carolina-based Christian Knights of the KKK were expected to rally in Forsyth County on Sunday.

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In Cumming, Superior Court Judge Stan Gault issued a 30-day temporary restraining order stopping the march, which Forsyth County and Cumming city officials had challenegd.

The march was planned by the North Carolina-based Christian Knights of the KKK.

Gene Neely of Augusta, Grand Dragon of the Georgia chapter of the Christian Knights, charged that the judge’s order was a ″classic case of reverse discrimination″ and vowed that the KKK would reschedule the march next month.

″This is far from over,″ Neely said.