Aryan Nations stages demonstration in Spirit Lake | Events
The Aryan Nations and Ku Klux Klan staged a demonstration in Spirit Lake on Saturday, the first of it's kind in the small community. The demonstration was small, and concerned members of the community showed up to protest the message being displayed by the two white supremacy groups.
Spirit Lake Police Chief Gene Marquez said that his department was well prepared to handle to demonstration. Every police car in the department was on patrol in the area that day as well a cars from the Idaho State Police and the Kootenai County Sheriff's Office.
“All we had to do was just have a presence in the area,” said chief Marquez. He added that they were prepared to go into a different mode if the situation escalated, but reported that both the Aryan Nations group and community members protesting kept the situation organized and under control.
“We gained compliance from both sides,” explained Marquez. He said the department had conversations with both groups about the need to respect each others rights to free speech and the need to keep the event organized. Marquez said that there were only a handful of people there and the demonstration only lasted about an hour. According to the Chief, this is the first time the Aryan Nations and the KKK have staged a demonstration in Spirit Lake.