A D.C. official yesterday defended the use of a room in the Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center by an anti-Ku Klux Klan group, which contended in a news conference that District police were intimidating its supporters and preparing for a hostile confrontation during this Sunday's Klan march here.

The All Peoples Congress, a national activist group, used the free community room in the center at 14th and U streets NW on Tuesday to denounce the march scheduled by the Christian Knights of the Ku Klux Klan.

It invited anti-Klan protesters "to come out in a massive outpouring of unity to say 'no' to racism and the KKK, and to show that this racist scourge will not go unchallenged in D.C. or anywhere else they rear their ugly head."

Eight years ago, the All Peoples Congress and other groups demonstrated against a march by another Klan group. That protest erupted into violence that left 12 police officers injured and many downtown businesses damaged and looted. Then, as on Tuesday, the group's leaders said they planned a peaceful counter-demonstration.

The group received permission to use the community room simply by asking for it, said Sam Jordan, deputy director of the Office of Emergency Preparedness.

"The reason they got the room is because . . . the Reeves is a public building and it is a community room open to all groups," he said, adding that "nobody even thought about it" until he became aware of the request. "But by then there was no need to go back and deny it."

Jordan said that if the request had come directly to him, he would have approved it. "Lots of groups use {the room}, the gays and the blacks and the white groups," he said. "All you need is a local person to apply for it."

Asked if the Klan would be allowed to use the room if a local representative applied for the space, Jordan said, "If the Klan applied for it, we would have to consider it." He added, "The lawyers would have to take a look at it."

Sahu Barron, national organizer for the All Peoples Congress, said they made use of the free government space because "it didn't cost us anything and it is accessible."