‘White Lives Matter’ rally planned Oct. 28 for Tennessee

An alliance of several groups — including those involved in an August rally in Charlottesville, Va. — has announced plans for a "White Lives Matter" rally this month in Tennessee.

The rally is scheduled for Oct. 28 in Shelbyville, located an hour southeast of Nashville.

Brad Griffin, who writes under the alias Hunter Wallace on his blog Occidental Dissent, announced that the event is being held by the Nationalist Front, a group of organizations that includes the National Socialist Movement, Traditionalist Worker Party, League of the South, White Lives Matter, Vanguard America and others.

The Southern Poverty Law Center considers each organization to be an extremist hate group falling under neo-Nazi, neo-Confederate and white nationalist categories.

Griffin wasn't immediately available for comment.

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On his blog, he said the rally is being held to draw attention to a fatal church shooting last month in Antioch, as well as to “protest the ongoing problem of refugee resettlement in Middle Tennessee.”

In the post, Griffin casts blame on President Donald Trump’s administration for “not saying a word” after the Sept. 24 shooting, in which police say Emanuel Samson, 25, opened fire at Burnette Chapel Church of Christ, killing one and injuring seven others.

Nashville police previously announced Samson was a legal resident, but not a citizen, after coming to the United States from Sudan in 1996.

In addition to a public rally, organizers are planning “a private event closed to the public where white nationalists can get to know each other,” Griffin wrote, though they haven’t disclosed the specific time or location of either event.

Rally initially billed as “Unite the Right 2.0”

Though Griffin tweeted last month that he was in the process of planning an event that would essentially be “Unite the Right 2.0,” organizers have since moved away from that title and adopted the “White Lives Matter” event name.

The SPLC has shared a photo depicting James Alex Fields — a man charged with killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer in Charlottesville after police say he ran his car into a group of counterprotesters — standing with other men during the rally holding shields with Vanguard America’s logo on it and wearing matching uniforms.

Though Vanguard America in a statement confirmed its participation in the Charlottesville rally, the group denied Fields was a member of the organization, and said the shield and white shirt uniform “do not denote membership.”

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According to the SPLC, the Traditionalist Worker Party, Vanguard America and League of the South were all involved with the Charlottesville rally.

On Saturday, Matthew Heimbach, a leader in the Traditionalist Worker Party, and League of the South president Michael Hill both took part in a white supremacist conference held at Cumberland Mountain State Park in Crossville. The national director and other members of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan were also among those in attendance at the weekend event, which was held as a replacement to a conference canceled by Stormfront website founder Don Black.

No one from the city of Shelbyville nor its police department was immediately available for comment on the planned rally.

Follow Natalie Allison on Twitter: @natalie_allison

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