Pro-Diversity Rally to Counter KKK-Promoted 'White Lives Matter' Event in California

Huntington Beach council in California has voted to support an official event to counter a "White Lives Matter" rally due to take place in the city.

The proposal won unanimous 7-0 approval as council members expressed concerns about the white supremacist rally planned for April 11 at Huntington Beach Pier.

The rally is one of a number being discussed online by hate groups and far-right extremists, all said to be taking place at 1 p.m. on April 11 in cities and states across the U.S.

Many of the proposed events have minimal details or support, with the Huntington Beach rally one of the few that has a named location. A channel for the event has been set up on the encrypted messaging app Telegram. The channel has just 100 subscribers, however, and no comments from people saying they will attend.

Concerns about the white supremacist rally increased when a number of Ku Klux Klan flyers promoting the event were found in Huntington Beach on Sunday.

KKK leaflets were also distributed to homes in the Newport Heights community of Newport Beach towards the end of March.

In response, Councilwoman Natalie Moser proposed that the city and Orange County sponsor an event promoting diversity, to take place in Huntington Beach at the same time as the planned white supremacist rally.

After Moser spoke to police, however, she conceded that it would be best to schedule the counter-event for April 18 as "creating another event on the same day could pull safety resources from downtown," reported The Orange County Register.

"I don't anticipate it being a rally," Moser added. "My intention is for it to be a family event where people can socially distance and feel safe."

The pro-diversity event will take place in Central Park on April 18.

During the Huntington Beach council meeting, Pat Goodman, vice president of the Greater Huntington Beach Interfaith Council, expressed concerns about hate groups gathering in the city.

"Hate has no place in Huntington Beach," Goodman said, according to The Daily Pilot. "We believe that every human life has infinite value, and that each of us deserves respect, love and support.

"Let us come together across our city and all across this country in the spirit of unity, to begin dialogues of understanding to eradicate racism, extremism and hate."

The council also approved motions condemning white supremacy and the spate of racist attacks on Asian Americans.

"When the COVID-19 pandemic began, inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric referring to the pandemic as the 'Chinese virus' or 'Kung Flu' put Asian American and Pacific Islander families, communities and businesses at risk for bullying, harassment and hate crimes," the declaration read

In a previous statement, Mayor Kim Carr described the appearance of the KKK flyers as a "cowardly attempt to drum up support for a hateful cause."

She added: "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."

File photo of a neo-Nazi protester on September 27, 2003, in Chicago. Huntington Beach City Council is sponsoring an anti-racism event to counter a KKK rally in the city. Scott Olson/Getty Images