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White nationalists call off rally in Tennessee under pressure from counter-protesters
White nationalists attempting two rallies Saturday in Tennessee met stiff resistance from large crowds of counter-protesters. Rally organizers called off one rally while the other rally proceeded but was drowned out by counter-protesters' songs and chants.
By Mae Owen
Feb 22, 2018

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WASHINGTON D.C. — White-nationalist groups encountered masses of resistant counter-protesters Saturday when they attempted to stage rallies in the Tennessee town of Shelbyville and Murfreesboro. Rally organizers cancelled the Murfreesboro event at the last minute and blamed it on counter-protesters.

Around 160 white nationalists made it to Shelbyville in the morning. But a crowd of more than 400 counter-protesters drowned them out with chanting, singing, and playing Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream Speech" over a loudspeaker. Another gathering of around 100 white nationalists arrived in Murfreesboro, but their organizers ordered them to disperse as more than 1,000 counter-protesters assembled and chanted over them.

The Murfreesboro counter-protesters broke off afterward into groups for prayer and to listen to speakers discussing peace. Counter-protesters told reporters that they had not come to fight the white nationalists but to "outshine" them with displays of love and kindness.

"We want them to see a very clear presence that we are staying united as Murfreesboro and Mufreesboro Loves," pastor Chris Warren toldWZTV. Murfreesboro Loves was the name of a chief counter-protest group.

Shelbyville's white-nationalist speakers condemned mass immigration and the intake of refugees from the Middle East. Some asserted that there is a "white genocide" under way in the United States and across the globe.

The National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group; League of the South, a neo-Confederate group; and Traditionalist Worker Party, which wants a separate nation-state just for whites; were among the organizing groups. They were also working with Anti-Communist Action, a group that believes that communists are still trying to destroy America; and Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that believes that America is inherently white and that its whiteness must be maintained.