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White Supremacist Group ‘Patriot Front’ Rallies in Tennessee

State and local leaders are reacting after a group called “Patriot Front” was seen marching through downtown Nashville Saturday afternoon.

More than 100 people, believed to be part of Patriot Front, marched through the streets of downtown Nashville on Saturday, July 6, covering their faces with masks while holding shields and Confederate flags.

State Democrats denounced the group for what they’re calling “acts of terror” in the Nashville community.

In a statement, Tennessee Democratic Party Chair Hendrell Remus said, “This is what we’re fighting against in Tennessee. This is what we’re fighting against in America. While our Republican State leaders sit quietly by, we refuse to let hate-filled racists terrorize our community.”

Just before 6 p.m. on Saturday, July 6, State Rep. Justin Jones (D-Nashville) took to social media to share a photo of the group making their way up to the Tennessee Capitol.

“White supremacists marching outside the Tennessee Capitol today. This comes after a march of neo-Nazis in the Spring and Proud Boys rallying there a year ago,” Jones wrote. “Shame on my Republican colleagues who continue to welcome these hate groups to our state with racist laws and rhetoric.”

Then, at 10:37 a.m. on Sunday, July 7, Mayor Freddie O’Connell posted a statement on X — formerly known as Twitter, stating that the safety of Nashvillians is his first priority.

“Yesterday, a number of people shockingly comfortable publicly identifying themselves as white nationalists marched through Nashville. My first priority in this moment—as always—was the safety of Nashvillians.

I refuse to platform hate actors, so I have no interest in giving any group or member the attention they seek. But what we should all do is refuse to allow this to be normalized. Just because someone is exercising their First Amendment rights does not mean we must accept someone shamelessly identifying as a Nazi as just another American. And in Nashville we won’t.

Our law enforcement were engaged throughout the actions of yesterday, and there were no incidents involving direct threats to anyone’s physical safety. Going forward, we’re exploring how we can thoroughly address unlawful activity of the group and prevent it in the future.”

District 19 Councilman Jacob Kupin shared a statement with News 2, which read: “While people have the right to free speech and expression, we also have the right to stand up against hate. As so many of my colleagues have shared today, hate is not welcome here. We will continue to rise up against hatred and make clear that Nashville is safe and welcoming for all.”The Jewish Federation of Greater Nashville also condemned the march and shared that they have been in contact with local law enforcement while “advocating for the perpetrators to be held accountable.”

“We condemn this activity in the strongest possible way and denounce the perpetrators as cowards and criminals, and we call on our city and state elected officials to enforce existing laws to make sure that all of Nashville’s citizens remain safe,” said the federation.

The American Jewish Committee followed that same sentiment, stating that the marches could be used as a “recruiting tool.”

“Unfortunately, when we see this type of behavior, these types of marches, they’re used also as a recruiting tool to their cause,” said Dov Wilker, Regional Director of the American Jewish Committee. “So, it’s more incumbent upon us in our society to ensure that those that could be affected are being protected, that they’re being educated, that they’re being supported in the way that their families need them to be so that we’re helping to reduce the number of people who have these types of ideas and beliefs, as opposed to increasing them.”

https://www.wate.com/news/tennessee/state-and-local-leaders-react-to-patriot-front-march-in-downtown-nashville/