White supremacists are rallying in Tennessee this weekend. Here’s what to expect

Happening again.
Happening again.
Image: AP Photo/Steve Helber
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After rallying in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August—where a woman was killed in an attack—and going back for a tiki-torch march this month, American white supremacists, xenophobes and anti-Semites have planned yet another demonstration for tomorrow (Oct. 28), this time in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, Tennessee, to protest against refugees and immigration policies.

As it has been the case with previous rallies, several different groups—all listed by the Southern Poverty Law Center’s hate watch—have announced their participation. The events, under the umbrella of “White Lives Matter,” organized by the National Socialist Movement, are to be attended by the League of the South and the Traditionalist Workers Party, Vanguard America, Anti-Communist Action and The Right Stuff. Leaders from these organizations will also speak at the rallies.

The hate groups rallying in Tennessee

The National Socialist Movement (NSM) calls itself “America’s premiere white civil rights organization.” It is a strongly anti-Jewish Nazi organization, whose members used to don Nazi uniforms until a decade ago, when it started wearing black uniforms. The NSM is an umbrella movement that accepts members of other racist or hate organizations. Among the NSM’s priorities are stopping all immigration of those deemed non-whites, and deporting (peacefully, or otherwise) all non-whites.

The Traditionalist Workers Party (NWP) is a white-supremacist group with strong anti-Semitic positions. It advocates for a white-only America, and theorizes about the effectiveness of a “mass purge” of non-white citizens.

The League of the South‘s vision of America is of a theocratic country based on Christianity (with the caveat that all thy neighbors one must love must be white). It defends slavery and advocates for its reintroduction. The group, which claims an academic foundation, initially based its thinking on professor Grady McWhiney’s book Cracker Culture, which looked into the racial differences between northern and southern states, eventually pushing its message to the extreme, warning of a “race war” against immigrants and blacks. It has been reported to be training a paramilitary force.

Vanguard America, Anti-Communist Action and The Right Stuff also are white-supremacist, far-right groups, all with strong xenophobic and anti-Semitic messages.

What they plan in Tennessee

According to the organizers, 200 to 300 people will be marching in the two towns, which are overwhelming white and Republican. They expect less opposition than they faced in Charlottesville, home to the University of Virginia.

The meeting points for the hate groups will be announced in the morning of the events, according to the organizers, in order to give protesters less time to organize. To avoid clashes, police will cordon off the demonstration locations, with officers separating white supremacists and protestors demonstrating against them. Further, firearms, flagpoles or spray cans won’t be allowed in the rally areas. Many shops will close, which should limit the number of bystanders who risk of injuries amid any clashes.