NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The “White Lives Matter” rallies planned for Shelbyville and Murfreesboro have “the potential to be the largest white supremacist gathering since … Charlottesville,” according to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL).
“Despite the backlash after Charlottesville, white supremacists and extremists across the board remain determined to disrupt communities with their messages of hate and intolerance, and this is evident in what we are expecting to see this weekend in Tennessee,” said Jonathan A. Greenblatt, ADL CEO.
The ADL says it expects around 200 people to attend this Saturday’s rallies.
“Hate has no place in our communities and we urge local leaders, public figures, clergy and elected officials to make their voices loud in denouncing the hate before the rallies begin,” Greenblatt added.
The organization said there could also be a brief pop-up rally outside the Burnette Chapel Church in Antioch.
The church is where a lone gunman opened fire earlier this year on the congregation, killing one woman and injuring at least six others. The suspect is a black man and the victims are all white, prompting it to be cited as a reason why the nationalist groups chose Tennessee for their rally although no motive has been released by law enforcement.
Those behind the rallies also cite the “ongoing problem of refugee resettlement in Middle Tennessee” as a reason for choosing our state.
There are several white nationalist groups with various focuses and agendas planning to take part in the rallies.
The ADL writes, “Rally organizer The Nationalist Front is an umbrella organization that consists of neo-Nazis, traditional white supremacists, and, to a lesser degree, racist skinheads. The bulk of the attendees for the rally will be associated with the League of the South, Traditionalist Worker Party, National Socialist Movement and Vanguard America. Several small Klan groups have also indicated they will attend, along with various unaffiliated White Lives Matter activists.”