MOLALLA – Police report that some Molalla residents awoke Sunday morning to find Ku Klux Klan recruiting fliers had been left at their homes.

The door-to-door effort is the fourth in recent weeks. Residents in West Linn, Gresham and Oregon City reported finding fliers at their homes earlier this month.

Molalla police said they have not identified anyone connected with the fliers and do not know whether it is a sharp-edged prank or a serious effort to attract members. The fliers showed up in the Big Meadow subdivision on the north side of the city.

Police Chief Rod Lucich said the fliers, while purporting to be from a known hate group, are a form protected free speech tucked into randomly tossed litter.

“Whereas the distribution of these fliers in any town may not be unlawful, they are a clear and present sign of prejudice and intolerance that I will not condone and I am certain the citizens of Molalla do not welcome,” Lucich said.

The fliers are identical to those distributed in West Linn, Gresham and Oregon City.

The first Ku Klux Klan was founded immediately after the Civil War to promote white supremacy and harass newly freed slaves. The KKK has been reorganized twice since. The current organization has been labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League.

In 2004, neighborhoods in Tigard and Tualatin were hit by fliers recruiting for the Aryan Nations, a neo-Nazi organization that preaches white supremacy. After an investigation, police traced it to one man who was not affiliated with any groups, but who wanted to attract attention.

Anyone with information about the fliers is encouraged to call the Molalla Police Department at 503-929-8817.

— Rick Bella rbella@oregonian.com

503-294-5915; @southnewshound

Source: The Oregonian

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