White Lives Matter Counter-Protest Planned to 'Shut Klan Down' Disavowed by NAACP

Prior to a "White Lives Matter" rally in Huntington Beach, California, scheduled for Sunday, plans for counter-protests have circulated, including one that was connected to someone who claimed to be a member of the Orange County branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

However, in an urgent press release shared on Saturday morning, the Orange County NAACP said that it didn't support the counter-protest.

The chapter's statement offered well-wishes to peaceful protesters, but clarified that it wasn't involved.

"While the OC NAACP applauds the efforts of peaceful protest nationwide, we do not sanction this particular event and seek to make our position clear on this issue. Our prayers are for the safety of all individuals, and we would never impede on anyone's right to freedom of speech. The recent articles linking our organization to this event are factually incorrect," the statement said.

URGENT PRESS RELEASE:
The Orange County NAACP does NOT support the upcoming Huntington Beach Counter-Protest to the White Lives Matter Rally on Sunday, April 11, 2021. pic.twitter.com/aeskqtqJ0D

— NAACP Orange County (@NAACPOC) April 10, 2021

The press release appeared to be in reference to a tweet circulating about the counter-protest at the Huntington Beach Pier on Sunday that vowed to "shut [the] Klan rally dwn [sic]." A flyer shared on Twitter asked those who plan to get involved to reach out to someone who says he's the founder of Huntington Beach's Black Lives Matter and a member of the OC NAACP.

A #WhiteLivesMatter rally is scheduled for 1pm at Huntington Beach Pier this Sunday. #KKK literature has been disseminated to residents. We are organizing the counter-protest to shut Klan rally dwn, this Sunday at 11am. Pls RT to help w/ visibility & bring out the numbers needed pic.twitter.com/Ofg6mJOWxJ

— CommunityControlpolice (@CMTYCtrlPolice) April 9, 2021

The White Lives Matter event is being organized by an group called the Loyal White Knights of the KKK.

The city council had voted to support a counter-protest earlier this week. The proposal was approved unanimously 7-0 on Wednesday. A councilwoman had also proposed an event that would promote diversity at the same time as the rally, but opted to hold the event a week later on April 18 in the interest of keeping safety resources available.

Ahead of the protests, there have been reports that white supremacist propaganda has sprung up in California cities. People have shared images of flyers posted outside businesses with slogans such as the "14 words."

Local police have also prepared for the event and officials have also spoken out against white supremacists coming to the community.

"I'm extremely disheartened that somebody used our community as a platform to spread hate," Long Beach City Councilman Al Austin told the Long Beach Post.

Huntington Beach Mayor Kim Carr also denounced the planned White Lives Matter rally.

"The KKK fliers are a cowardly attempt to drum up support for a hateful cause that is in contradiction to Huntington Beach's values of integrity, respect and inclusivity. We have zero tolerance for racism in our City, and while we absolutely support the First Amendment, we stand strongly against hiding behind it to promote hate," she said in an April 5 statement.

Newsweek reached out to the Orange County NAACP for comment.

White Lives Matter Protest
A White Lives Matter counter-protest planned for Sunday in Huntington Beach, California, was disavowed Saturday by the Orange County branch of the NAACP. Above, white nationalists attend a rally on October 28, 2017 in Shelbyville, Tennessee. Scott Olson/Getty Images