White supremacists, counter group to rally Saturday in wake of bus attack

22:32 by Editor · 0 Post a comment on AAWR

Two rallies are planned Saturday in response to a recent attack on a school bus -- one rally linked to several white supremacy groups and a counter protest hosted by a minister.

Those calling the attack on a white student by two black students a hate crime are planning a protest for 11 a.m. Saturday at the St. Clair County Courthouse in Belleville.

In response, the Rev. John Curry, of Conqueror's Christian Center in Belleville, is organizing a silent peace rally across the street. Those participating expect to hold signs that say "We love you," and, "No more us and them."

"I think it's important for people in the city and across the country that are going to be watching a lot of the racism that's being attributed to the city, they need to see there's another side to it," he said. "That other side is that there's some great people in the city, doing some great things."

An online comment posted on a News-Democrat news story said the rally at the courthouse was "for everyone who knows a parent or student at Belleville West or any other school."

The comment linked to a Web site called www.illinoissafechildren.com, which states that it is not in charge of or affiliated with the protest.

The protest has been promoted on several supremacist Web sites, including the National Socialist Movement and Stormfront.org.

The event is "to protest the racial double standard with hate crimes. If it had been white kids doing the beating they would have been charged with a hate crime," stated a link on Stormfront.org, which boasts the slogan "White pride world wide."

"People in this town are rightfully angry at the double standard that we know how this would be working if the races were reversed," wrote Cpl. Jason Bonn on the National Socialist Movement Web site.

Protesters will march outside the state's attorney's office, which is inside the courthouse, because they're asking for hate crime charges to be filed, Bonn wrote.

"This event is open to all concerned citizens and white nationalists regardless of affiliation," he continued.

However, a representative with the St. Clair County Public Building Commission said it has received no requests nor has a certificate of insurance been submitted, which is required to conduct an event on the courthouse grounds. The Public Building Commission handles all requests for use of county property.

Belleville Police Capt. Don Sax said police are aware of the rallies and are working with the St. Clair County Sheriff's Department to keep the events safe.

"We will have all the proper precautions in place to keep the general public and any protesters, ralliers ... visitors to the city safe," Sax said. "We're trying to keep it as low key as possible."

He said the rallies should not affect the Belleville Oktoberfest, which will begin its second day at the same time as the rallies.

Curry is asking all those interested in his peaceful "demonstration of silence and love" to join the group and attend a strategy meeting 7 p.m. Thursday at the Conqueror's Christian Center, 200 E. Washington St.

The videotaped fight on a school bus en route to Belleville West High School on Sept. 14 sparked national attention. Police originally called the attack racially motivated, but recanted that statement the next day and said it was a case of bullying. continues here

EDITOR'S Comment: Below the video in question:

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