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White supremacists march through Nashville, hiding their faces

By meerna Jul11,2024
White supremacists march through Nashville, hiding their faces

Members of the white supremacist Patriot Front march through Nashville, Tennessee.

Members of the white supremacist Patriot Front march through Nashville, Tennessee. Photo: CNN screenshot

On Saturday, the far-right group Patriot Front led a march through the streets of Nashville, Tennessee, with many locals denouncing their actions as a white supremacist march.

Nashville Mayor Freddie O’Connell issued a statement about the march on X, saying, “But what we all should do is refuse to allow this to be normalized. Just because someone is exercising their First Amendment rights does not mean we have to accept someone who brazenly identifies as a Nazi as an ordinary American.”

Nearly 100 men donned blue shirts and khaki pants, their faces covered with masks, bandanas, sunglasses and baseball caps as they stormed the streets. After exiting three U-Hauls — a violation of U-Haul policy — the marchers held American and Confederate flags, held a “Reclaim America” banner and handed out unspecified leaflets. Some even wore America-themed shields, spray-painting their logo under the bridge.

Patriot Front member Thomas Rousseau shouted their message through a megaphone: specifically, that the group believes they are superior to other races because of their ancestry. He also called for the “inevitability” of white nationalism.

Patriot Front is a hate group designated by the Southern Poverty Law Center that traces its origins to the 2017 “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, which led to the death of anti-racism protester Heather Heyer.

State Rep. Justin Jones (D) said on X: “White supremacists are marching on the Tennessee Capitol today. This comes after the neo-Nazi march this spring and the Proud Boys rally a year ago. Shame on my Republican colleagues who continue to welcome these hate groups to our state with racist laws and rhetoric.”

Jones is referring to an incident that took place in February, when another group of neo-Nazis who also jumped out of U-Haul trucks stormed the streets of Nashville. He also referenced an October 2022 Trump rally that featured members of the Proud Boys hate group on the streets of Nashville.

Tennessee Democratic Party Chairman Hendrell Remus said in a statement: “This is what we are fighting in Tennessee. This is what we are fighting in America. While our state Republican leaders sit silently, we refuse to allow hateful racists to terrorize our community.”

This isn’t the first time Patriot Front has come to incite a riot. Two years ago, they came to the Idaho Pride festival in Coeur d’Alene, which led to members being charged with conspiracy to incite a riot. One attendee at the event, who had previously called LGBTQ+ people groomers and pedophiles, was arrested for child pornography.

The group vandalized an LGBTQ+ retirement home, using the phrase “f**ks will die in the fire,” was also caught vandalizing a Pride mural in Olympia, Washington, and collaborated with more openly neo-Nazis to criticize a Drag Queen Story Hour event in Ohio.

The Nashville NAACP said of the event: “As a community that has been directly impacted by the historic grief and disruption of similar white supremacist groups, we stand united against all forms of hate they are based on. Together, we refuse to allow these acts to be normalized. These actors of ancestral amnesia seek attention while hiding behind masks of oppression and shame.”

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By meerna

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