""The executed contract for this event was for a family reunion, and the parks department was not notified of the intent of this meeting until late last evening. As a public event, a different contract will be required. The new contract will include safety and other provisions, and the group will have to reapply under the correct process. As a public agency, the Kentucky State Parks cannot discriminate against individuals or groups under the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution. However, we will continue to monitor the situation and any threats to our guests, and we will take appropriate actions as necessary." Official Statement From The KY State Parks System Downloaded on February 8, 2017, at 8:40pm.
"...a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserves its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views." Southern Poverty Law Center Downloaded on February 8, 2017, at 8:51pm.
In their statement about the goals of the event which is linked from the WKYT-TV27 web site, the Traditionalist Workers Party makes several statements that cause concern. They state that: " Pike County is 98.35% European and went over 80% for Trump in the recent elections." It is fascinating that an organization that SPLC has identified as a hate group is choosing to visit and hold a meeting in an area which supported Donald Trump who has always denied his support from and possible connections to such white supremacist hate groups. They go on to say that Pike County is an area that is "in need of advocacy and organization". They also gloat that " Given that the venue is a State Park, they cannot shut down the event". That statement, and the likely fear of state park officials, is probably why the official statement from the KY State Parks is so unwilling to confront the fact that they have agreed to host an event from a hate group. The TWP go further near the end of their statement by discussing possible "...possible Leftist attacks, we will not be driven from the streets, under any circumstances" which appears to state that they are prepared for violence during their street demonstration in Pikeville on April 29th, 2017.
Every citizen, every elected official, every church, every legitimate social organization in the Eastern Kentucky and Southern West Virginia area should immediately and unequivocally denounce this group, their proposed event, and their potentially violent agenda. Every member of such churches, groups, and organizations should immediately contact Gil Lawson and the Kentucky State Parks to protest this event and to demand that it be cancelled. Potential violence, which is openly discussed in that statement and that is alarming and potentially very dangerous. Such plans, such groups, and such threats of violence must be confronted and must be stopped.