News, Culture & Society

Neo-nazis say they’ll protest a Women’s March in Tennessee

Four groups with diametrically opposed viewpoints, including two with reputations for violence, are all set to come face to face with each other tomorrow in Tennessee.

The 2018 Women’s March scheduled its Knoxville event for Sunday, the same date on which the event was held last year.

Representatives for March For Life, a group that advocates against abortion, arranged to have a counter-protest in Knoxville, on the same day.

Upon hearing this news, Matthew Heimbach organized a group of white supremacists to counter-protest the Women’s March, as well, claiming to be in support of the March For Life, according to a blog published on January 12.

Following Heimbach’s announcement, at least two sub-groups of Antifa, a term used to collectively refer to anti-fascist and anti-racist activists that are known for violent demonstrations, have planned to counter-protest Heimbach’s demonstration.

Matthew Heimbach has organized a group of white supremacists to counter-protest the Women’s March in Knoxville on Sunday, claiming to be in support of the March For Life

The 2018 Women’s March participants all have their own reasons for showing up, but the overall message is on of unity and inclusiveness.

Those taking part have come out publicly to decry misogyny, sexual harassment and assault, lack of equal treatment in the workplace, discrimination in all forms, and the deportation of immigrant children.   

Heimbach, who has been called ‘The Little Fuhrer,’ helped organize the violent ‘Unite The Right’ rally in Charlottesville, Virginia over the summer that left many injured and resulted in the death of anti-racist protester Heather Heyer.

New York City: Over 120,000 protesters gathered near Central Park for the Manhattan Women's March on Saturday

New York City: Over 120,000 protesters gathered near Central Park for the Manhattan Women’s March on Saturday

He wrote on his white nationalist group’s site on January 12: 

‘As the defenders and advocates of women and our children, the Traditionalist Worker Party is taking a stand in Knoxville Tennessee on Sunday January 21st against the proposed feminist march and in support of the March for Life being held the same day.’   

Representatives for March For Life issued a statement via Facebook this week, denouncing Heimbach’s pledge of support from his neo-Nazi group, called the Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP).

‘Any group or individual that promotes white supremacy or other dehumanizing world views, are not in tandem with the position of Tennessee Right to Life on the value of every person’s dignity and life,’ Ed Albin, a Tennessee Right to Life leader, wrote on Wednesday.

‘Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa.’ 

Heimbach (right) smiles while participating in a 'White Lives Matter' rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 28

Heimbach (right) smiles while participating in a ‘White Lives Matter’ rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 28

In claiming his neo-Nazi’s group support for the March For Life, and disapproval of the Women’s March, Heimbach wrote:

‘Feminism and abortion are opposed to life in every way. The gift of having children is a blessing for woman, and the entire nation, and it should be promoted as truly sacred.’

In response to Heimbach’s plan to bring 50-60 neo-Nazis to Knoxville on Sunday, the Women’s March changed their planned protest route.

Two additional groups locally known for anti-racism activism also decided to show up on Sunday, after learning of Heimbach’s plan.

The Holler Network and Nashville Anti-Racist Action released a statement, as well, as to their decision to have a demonstration of their own in Knoxville.

‘The TWP and other white supremacist groups view Southeast Appalachia as an ideal region for a white separatist movement, and they prey upon rural and semi-rural areas to build their base,’ the joint statement read.

‘But their claims to Appalachia fly in the face of centuries of resistance to white supremacy and settler colonialism that are woven into these hills and rivers. From indigenous resistance to militant maroon communities, to multiracial labor strikes and prisoner uprisings, to the very existence of tight-knit black and brown communities across these hills, we know Appalachia has never been and will never be their all-white vision- as long as we continue to resist. So join us! Bring your love, solidarity, and rage to Knoxville on January 21st and help us take this trash the f*** outta East Tennessee!’  

Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party speaks to participants at a white nationalist's rally on October 28  Shelbyville, Tennessee

Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party speaks to participants at a white nationalist’s rally on October 28  Shelbyville, Tennessee

The joint statement was posted on January 12 on It’s Going Down, a website which describes itself as  ‘a digital community center from anarchist, anti-fascist, autonomous anti-capitalist and anti-colonial movements.’

The site says it’s mission is ‘to provide a resilient platform to publicize and promote revolutionary theory and action.’

Law enforcement in Knoxville has said they will do their best to keep Women’s March participants and those demonstrating against them in different locations, according to Knox News.

Bags will be checked and no weapons or bottles will be allowed in any of the protest areas.

Heimbach (center), chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and fellow white supremacists are seen here in Beattyville, Kentucky on March 26, 2016

Heimbach (center), chairman of the Traditionalist Worker Party, and fellow white supremacists are seen here in Beattyville, Kentucky on March 26, 2016

Joint Statement from The Holler Network and Anti-Racist Action

‘Call to Action to Resist White Supremacists in Knoxville, TN January 21st 

‘Once again, white supremacists are descending like the damn plague upon Tennessee. On January 21st at 12pm, the Traditionalist Worker Party and their affiliates are planning to rally and march in Knoxville, TN, against the second annual Women’s March and in support of the anti-choice group, Right to Life, who are also planning to march that day (and have been made aware that nazis are supporting them). 

‘The exact TWP rallying point is still unknown but may coincide with the Women’s March rallying point in Market Square at 12pm and then join the Right to Life rallying point at World’s Fair Park at 2pm. Details will be shared as we receive them. Matthew Heimbach (who recently moved his vile self to East Tennessee), and his horde of human garbage followers, have been focusing on building a white supremacist base in this region and we sure as hell gotta resist their attempts.

‘The TWP and other white supremacist groups view Southeast Appalachia as an ideal region for a white separatist movement, and they prey upon rural and semi-rural areas to build their base. But their claims to Appalachia fly in the face of centuries of resistance to white supremacy and settler colonialism that are woven into these hills and rivers. From indigenous resistance to militant maroon communities, to multiracial labor strikes and prisoner uprisings, to the very existence of tight-knit black and brown communities across these hills, we know Appalachia has never been and will never be their all-white vision- as long as we continue to resist. So join us! Bring your love, solidarity, and rage to Knoxville on January 21st and help us take this trash the fuck outta East Tennessee! 

‘In fierce solidarity,

The Holler Network and Nashville ARA’

Source: It’s Going Down 

 

Statement from March For Life on neo-Nazi’s pledge of support

‘Tennessee Right to Life has received notice that certain groups are planning to disrupt this Sunday’s March for Life in Knoxville. It is regrettable that any group or individual would attempt to draw attention to themselves and their own agendas at an event that is meant to focus on unborn children and their mothers in a peaceful and prayerful manner.

‘Any group or individual that promotes white supremacy or other dehumanizing world views, are not in tandem with the position of Tennessee Right to Life on the value of every person’s dignity and life. Our organization’s march has a single agenda to support the rights of mothers and the unborn, and we don’t agree with the violent agenda of white supremacists or Antifa.

‘Tennessee Right to Life is working closely with the Knoxville Police Department to keep our supporters safe and away from harassment from these radical groups.’

Source: Facebook page of Ed Albin, a Tennessee Right to Life leader

 

 

 

 



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