GETTYSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A planned Ku Klux Klan rally at Gettysburg National Military Park is canceled because of the federal government’s shutdown.

Park officials said they rescinded all permits for special events because of the shutdown that began Tuesday.

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The permit had been approved for a Maryland-based KKK group, the Confederate White Knights of the Ku Klux Klan, for a Saturday gathering.

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Park officials had defended granting the permit, saying they have a responsibility to make the land available for citizens to exercise their right to freedom of speech, even if the views expressed are contrary to those of most Americans.

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The group held a membership rally last month at the Antietam National Battlefield near Sharpsburg, Md., where thousands died in a Civil War clash that set the stage for the Emancipation Proclamation.

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