Nine people showed up to a white supremacist rally in Dayton, Ohio, on Saturday — and they found themselves dramatically outnumbered by counterprotesters who flooded the city’s downtown in a show of “unity against hate.”
City officials said an estimated 500 to 600 people gathered to express their condemnation of the rally, organized by the Honorable Sacred Knights of Indiana, a Ku Klux Klan-affiliated group, CBS News reported.
The counterprotesters, who included members of the local chapter of the NAACP, sang “Amazing Grace” and played tubas and the drums, according to WHIO-TV. They carried signs with messages about unity and love, and chanted anti-racist slogans.
WATCH: Dayton, OH was prepared for a KKK rally and counterprotesters, but only a handful of KKK members showed up pic.twitter.com/LPaVgAC6HY— TicToc by Bloomberg (@tictoc) May 25, 2019
The nine members of the Klan-affiliated group, all but one of whom was wearing masks, spoke little during the rally, according to WHIO-TV.
When they did attempt to speak, counterprotesters “worked to ensure no one in the crowd [could] hear them,” the outlet said.
Panorama of the anti-KKK protesters and the ten members of the KKK that actually showed up, side by side. pic.twitter.com/qprKpoAk9f— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) May 25, 2019
Group, some wearing traditional Black Panther gear such as black berets, now marches on the main counter-protest area outside the KKK rally in Dayton. pic.twitter.com/B3H9Ya0OBg— Geoff Redick (@GeoffWSYX6) May 25, 2019
Members of the Quaker faith have arrived to join the counter-protest of the KKK rally in Dayton. pic.twitter.com/ChmPTaYj4q— Geoff Redick (@GeoffWSYX6) May 25, 2019
A look at the scene right now, 22 minutes before the KKK is due to arrive. pic.twitter.com/xu21yZY8aU— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) May 25, 2019
Micah Naziri is here to face off with the KKK and brought his long gun on a sling. He's wearing a red hat that says "make racists afraid again" pic.twitter.com/legsRzPpRl— Marcus DiPaola (@marcusdipaola) May 25, 2019
A selection of some of the thousands of signs being displayed outside the fenced area where a KKK rally is being held in downtown Dayton, Ohio. pic.twitter.com/Tn95kzPws8— Geoff Redick (@GeoffWSYX6) May 25, 2019
As absolutely ridiculous this whole KKK rally thing is, I genuinely love how quickly Dayton stepped up and let them know that they are not welcome here 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼 pic.twitter.com/QRhBCC9y1M— katie heinkel (@katieeheinkel) May 24, 2019
Dayton officials said no arrests, injuries or clashes were reported during the day’s events.
“I am very glad that today’s events went off without incident and the hate group that tried to threatened our city is gone,” Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said in a statement.
The city said it spent about $650,000 on security for the rally.
Journalist Marcus DiPaola reported that several counterprotesters were seen openly carrying rifles, a practice legal under Ohio law.
Members of the white supremacist group may have also been armed. According to an earlier Associated Press report, the permit agreement struck between the group and the city of Dayton allowed them to carry certain firearms to the rally.
According to The New York Times noted, it was unclear why the KKK group, based in Madison, Indiana, chose to hold a rally some 120 miles away in Dayton. But Dayton, characterized by the newspaper as one of the country’s most racially segregated cities, is also, according to the Times, “something of a political bellwether” in Ohio, which is often a swing state in presidential elections.
In her Saturday statement, Whaley said she was grateful to the many people who attended the counterprotest for sharing “their views loudly, but without violence.”
She added that the event had shone “a light on the issues that continue to divide us and on all of the work we still have to do to make our community a place of opportunity for everyone.”
“Dayton is still too segregated, and too unequal. This is ... unacceptable, and something that we must keep focused on changing every day,” Whaley said.
This ugly chapter is over, but it means we have to get back to the real work - making sure that no matter what you look like, where you come from, or who you love, that you can have a great life here in Dayton. Please see my full statement below. #UnitedAgainstHateDYT pic.twitter.com/25JyRCjZRY— Nan Whaley (@nanwhaley) May 25, 2019
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.