February 25, 2018

White Supremacists’ Meeting at VA Library Proceeds Quietly

By LJ Staff

Another meeting of the white supremacist of the World Church of the Creator (WCOTC) has taken
place at a library, this time without the turmoil that marked an event September
14 in Wakefield, MA. Still, the relative quiet at the September 21 speech at a
branch of the Chesterfield County Public Library, VA didn’t come easy. Library
director Mike Mabe said officials tried to play down a visit by the WCOTC’s John
King. A few community members complained, but they seemed willing to acknowledge
the group’s right to speak. Library representatives had talked to the NAACP and
local activist churches, convincing them that it would be to their advantage not
to attend.

Then the Richmond Times-Dispatch wrote an
article noting that the group lacked official nonprofit status. Though library
officials said other noncommercial groups used the library without nonprofit
status, some in the community agitated to stop the meeting. Two county
supervisors joined them, though ultimately the board of supervisors agreed
unanimously to let the meeting continue. At the meeting, four uniformed police
officers kept order inside the meeting room, dozens of officers stood guard
outside, and an alternate demonstration was held at a local high school stadium.
The library branch was shut down three hours before the meeting, and service on
previous days was diminished, with meetings canceled the day before. “We are
considering charging him for the cost of additional security,” said Mabe, who
acknowledged he had no certainty that such charges could be upheld.