Monday, December 11, 2000

Klan cross exits downtown quietly

        The Ku Klux Klan cross came down from Fountain Square on Sunday with so little fanfare that many ice skaters and downtown visitors didn't realize it was gone.

        Several anti-Klan groups that assembled by 11 a.m., including Columbus-based Anti-Racist Action, were disappointed to learn that the cross had been removed before they arrived to confront the Klan. The Klan's permit ended Sunday, and by mid-afternoon the square was a sea of skaters, shoppers and walkers.

        “My viewpoint is, I'm a big believer in freedom of speech,” Quinn Shamblin, 26, of Batavia, said as he sat next to the skating rink, waiting for his wife, who sang with a group on the Fountain Square stage. “But the fact that it's gone is fine, too.”


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