Sandy Mabery, one of the principal organizers of the Rebel-lution Heritage not Hate Poker Run, withdrew from any involvement in the event Tuesday in a short, terse statement:
I am now making it known that I am no longer affiliated in any way, shape or form with Rebel-lution: Heritage not Hate Poker Run on August 29 as of 8/3/2015. I will not discuss why so don’t ask. I am not participating in any way, shape or form, not even to answer demands as to why.
Mabry, we are told, withdrew from participation because of racial beliefs attributed to the owner of Kanawa Valley Arena near Dugspur, the destination of the poker run.
Some say they are upset with planned participation by known White Supremacist groups. A scan of Facebook posts finds attendance plans by some out-of-state groups that are identified as “hate groups” by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Mara Eve Robbins, the Floyd County activist who is credited with stopping a planned natural gas pipeline in Floyd County, says:
When I am assured that there are not confederate flag groups from other states participating in the poker run who embrace ideologies that deeply concern me and that I consider harmful, I might begin to believe that it might not be dangerous.
The sale of the flag here in Floyd has already harmed people I care about deeply.
That assurance is not likely. Robbins recommends a poker run without use of the rebel flag.
Organizers now say the poker run could draw hundreds and — perhaps a thousand or more — motorcycle riders to the area.
Organizers say the poker run will not tolerate “offensive behavior.”
Floyd County’s sheriff department says they will keep an eye on the event and follow it to the Floyd-Carroll county line.