KKK victory sparks emotions in Cape Girardeau - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

KKK victory sparks emotions in Cape Girardeau

(Source: Frank Anconda, Imperial Wizard, Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan) (Source: Frank Anconda, Imperial Wizard, Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan)
Joy Duprey drove from Marble Hill to Cape to protest the group. Joy Duprey drove from Marble Hill to Cape to protest the group.
"Doesn't take much to get my sparks ignited," said Duprey. "Doesn't take much to get my sparks ignited," said Duprey.

Who knew a decades old city law on littering could stir so many emotions.

With the Ku Klux Klan at the center of the matter, it's easy to see why.

A recent court ruling paved the way for the group to spread its message in Cape Girardeau.

The group's leader said members were planning to be in town on Friday, but as of 6:30p.m. Friday night there was no sign of them.

Joy Duprey drove from Marble Hill to Cape to protest the group that planned to be in town handing out fliers.

"Doesn't take much to get my sparks ignited," said Duprey. 

Her main goal was to spread the message of Christianity, but also inform people about the Klan.

"It really stirred an emotion in me that we still have the KKK today," said Duprey. 

The KKK took the City of Cape Girardeau to federal court, challenging a city ordinance that dates back to the late 1960's.

It prohibits people from putting fliers on vehicles.

"We were surprised by the lawsuit," said Scott Meyer-Cape Girardeau City Manager. 

Meyer, however, is not surprised by the judge ruling Cape cannot, for now, enforce that law.

"The original purpose of the law was to curb littering and we felt it was important not to have the city littered by pamphlets," said Meyer.

Frank Ancona, Imperial Wizard of the Traditionalist American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, called it a victory for first amendment rights. He said his group rarely has to fight city laws.

"This is one of the first times we've come across situations like this," said Ancona. 

The American Civil Liberties Union represented the KKK in court.

"I don't agree with what our client stands for, but it is a success for the First Amendment and the judge pointed that out too," said Grant Doty-Attorney, ACLU of Eastern Missouri.

One Cape Girardeau man said he doesn't believe in what the KKK stands for either, but can't argue with the ruling. 

"You should have a right to stand up for what you believe in."

Others say there should be a limit.

"I know there's racism and hate, but I never dreamed in the United States of America in Cape Girardeau, Missouri that we'd have an organization that would be allowed to come in and threaten a race of people," said Joy Duprey. 

"We don't hate other races, but do care about our own race," said Frank Ancona. "Our race is our family and we look out for our family first."

Attorney Al Spradling who is representing the City of Cape Girardeau says the matter is not officially over in court.

Now the city will have to decide whether it's worth the time and money to keep fighting it, or just take the ordinance off the books and be done with it.

The city council is expected to discuss the matter next week.

Copyright 2012 KFVS. All rights reserved.

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