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Ku Klux Klan - Recent Developments
New Klan groups emerging
A sign of the Klan resurgence is the appearance of new Klan groups in different parts of the country. A certain number of new Ku Klux Klan organizations always emerge in any given period of time, as groups split apart or reform. However, what was different in 2005-2006 was the rapid expansion in size of some of these newer Klan factions.

One of the best examples of this phenomenon involves the Empire Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The Empire Knights is a newer Klan group, formed in 2005 in part from former members of the Southern White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. From Florida, it expanded across the South, into the Mid-Atlantic, and even as far as Oregon. In January 2007, it boasted chapters in 18 states.

Texas has been a strong scene of Empire Knights activity. In early August 2006, members of the Empire Knights of Texas, based in San Angelo, held a heavily publicized anti-immigration rally in the northwest Texas city of Amarillo. It was only one of several recent Empire Knights events in Texas. In June 2006, over 20 Empire Knights held an anti-immigration rally in the west Texas city of Midland, while in November 2005, they held a protest against gay marriage in Austin. The Empire Knights also held an event in July 2006 in Leesville, South Carolina.


Another example occurred in the Midwest, where a group of Michigan Klansmen led by Phil Lawson broke away from the Ohio-based Mystic Knights of the Ku Klux Klan in 2005 and formed a new group, the United Northern and Southern Knights of the Ku Klux Klan. The United Northern and Southern Knights rapidly expanded to nine states. Other new Klan groups have concentrated on expansion within a state rather than across state lines; in Georgia, for example, the Georgia Knight Riders of the Ku Klux Klan formed in 2006 with members in Ellijay, Bainbridge, and Norcross.

Not every attempt to jumpstart the Klan has been successful. In the 1990s, Indiana was one of the centers of Klan activity, as two major Klan groups were based in that state. However, one of them, the American Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, largely collapsed after its leader, Jeff Berry, was convicted in 2001 for conspiracy to commit criminal confinement with a deadly weapon after holding two reporters at gunpoint. Following his 2004 release, however, an effort began to reinvigorate the Klan in northeastern Indiana, with contact post office boxes set up in Auburn and Albion. This attempt fizzled, however, after the organizers, Fred Wilson and Anthony Berry (son of Jeff Berry) were arrested in July 2006 for allegedly beating Jeff Berry almost to death during a party (the motive for the alleged attack is unclear).


Untitled Document
The Ku Klux Klan Rebounds
About the Ku Klux Klan
Recent Developments:
Changes in Longstanding Groups
New Klan Groups Emerging
Geographic Expansion
Ideology
Affiliations
New Tactics
Criminal Activity
and Violence
Active Groups by State
Slide Show
History
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