Small Oregon town rallies against Aryan Nations
(Grant County residents packed a community hall in Canyon City to
voice fears that a white supremacist from Idaho may go ahead with
his plan to move to nearby John Day. About 200 people were turned
away from the Canyon City community center on Friday because fire
laws limited attendance to 300)
CANYON CITY, Ore. - Residents in a small Oregon were out in force Friday doing everything they could to let the Aryan Nations know they're not welcome in John Day.
The controversy in the town of only 1,800 began last week when Paul Mullet, who claims to be the national director of the Aryan Nations, came to town looking to buy property to be used as a headquarters.
Mullet expressed interest in a an old junior high school as well as a vacant church and opera house. He said he needs the property for training, barracks and a national gatherings. Mullet claimed he would start a soup kitchen for the community.
Residents of the town rallied Friday in opposition of the Aryan Nations setting up shop in their town and want to make sure Mullet and his followers know they are not welcome.
Many businesses along the main street through John Day have put new signs in windows stating they have the right to refuse service to anyone. Others have go so far as to place signs reading "No Nazis" and "No Aryan Nations."
Residents say even the threat of the white supremacist group coming to town is hurting business; a motorcycle club that holds an annual rally in the town says they won't continue to do so if the Aryan Nations moves in.
At a community meeting held Friday morning, a team of experts involved in the civil rights case that brought down the Aryan Nations in Idaho encouraged residents to take a strong stand against the group.
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