LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — Longview officials say they don’t want what is being promoted as a White Unity Conference to take place in their city.
The City Council will consider a resolution at its meeting Thursday officially denouncing the event.
According to postings from white-power.org of the Aryan Freedom Network, the White Unity Conference is set for Sept. 25.
“We will have many educational lectures, Aryan folk music and Racial Unity amongst different organizations and individuals from all across North America,” the posting said. “This is not an open event to the public but a private event for White Racialists to enjoy a day (of) fun and unity of like minded kindred.”
Longview Mayor Andy Mack said the city doesn’t want the group to hold the event in Longview.
“We as a city are taking the appropriate actions with regard to this currently non-verifiable event,” Mack said. “We’re crafting a resolution to be considered at our July 15 City Council meeting, which would denounce the hatefulness represented by this group or any group wishing to promote hate.”
The group does not represent the values of the city, he said.
“While we recognize the importance of freedom of speech, we also recognize that we have a responsibility to protect our citizens from dangerous conduct. So, we will continue to monitor the situation and respond appropriately within the bounds of the law,” Mack said. “This group does not represent who we are as a community. We as a city council and myself as mayor denounce this attempt to promote hate and bigotry in our town. Now is the time for Longview to show we are a diverse community that loves each other, defends each other and protects each other.”
In February, Paris City Council unanimously voted to instruct City Attorney Stephane Harris to draft a resolution denouncing a similar conference that had been announced for that city.
Harris told the council during a meeting on Feb. 8 that city officials had been made aware that a group calling itself the Church of the KKK had planned a white unity conference for October in Paris. The resolution condemned the use of the name Paris, Texas, in the event’s promotional materials.