- The Washington Times - Friday, September 8, 2017

Police in Richmond, Virginia, closed a city park Thursday after multiple effigies of clowns in Ku Klux Klan robes were found hanging from a large tree.

The anarchist collective Indecline took responsibility for the act, releasing a video that showed four masked men creating the eight effigies and hoisting each of them into a single tree at Bryan Park early Thursday morning. A sign hanging from one of the dolls read, “If attacked by a mob of clowns, go for the juggler.”

The group released a statement saying the display was “in protest of the White Nationalist uprising in the United States.”

“The activation was carried out in Richmond, Virginia, chosen for its infamous legacy of being the capitol of the Confederate South,” Indecline said. “It was executed in what is today known as Joseph Bryan Park, the same location of the Gabriel Prosser slave rebellion in 1800.”

The park was closed for several hours Thursday while police investigated the scene.

“The Richmond Police Department is investigating the display in Bryan Park. It has been removed. No arrests have been made,” the department said in a statement.

The local NAACP condemned the stunt.

“When you look at something like that, whether you consider it art or not art, lynching is not something that we’re in agreement with at all,” said James “J.J.” Minor, president of the Richmond branch of the NAACP, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reported. “We do not support any groups that support violence.”

Mayor Levar Stoney’s press secretary, Jim Nolan, said in a statement that “there are many ways to express a point of view. As a city we don’t condone breaking the law to do so.”

A member of Indecline told a local NBC affiliate that the display was meant to be shocking.

“Kick the door in and instead of being baseless infantile vandalism there’s obviously a deeper meaning there,” he said.

Indecline is the same group that put up life-sized naked statues of then-candidate Donald Trump in major cities across the country last year.

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