Police departments in several cities nationwide are making preparations today for marches organized online by far-right white-supremacy extremists to be held this afternoon…
The white supremacist rallies are being discussed on social media and encrypted messaging app Telegram, with dozens of events planned to take place at 1 p.m. in cities including New York, Fort Worth, Texas, and Chicago, Illinois.
There is no real suggestion the marches—if they even take place—will be anywhere near as highly attended as the deadly “Unite the Right” in which thousands of neo-Nazis, Ku Klux Klan members and far-right extremists took to the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
However, police forces in cities where an actual location has been discussed online are bracing themselves for any potential violence stemming from the event or counter-protest against it.
Counter-protesters appear to have taken the bait…
The rallies have already drawn planned counterprotests, including in Albuquerque, N.M.
“Join us at 10am at the Albuquerque Civic Plaza as we rally against white supremacy in all its forms. Please wear your masks, bring creative signs, water, plan on being loud, and bring your friends – we have safety in numbers,” reads one page for counterprotesters.
The possibility for clashes has alarmed police departments, who say they are preparing for the rallies across the country.
A Raleigh, N.C., Police Department spokesperson told Newsweek, which first reported on the rallies, that they are aware of a rally and that “personnel who are responsible for security and logistical planning consider and evaluate many factors, including events that have occurred elsewhere, as they make safety and staffing decisions.”
Huntington Beach, CA is taking the threat seriously…
Huntington Beach is bracing for a white supremacy rally set to take place Sunday at the seaside community’s famous pier, which has become a rallying spot for numerous demonstrations over the last year.
The Huntington Beach Police Department plans to step up its security presence, with mounted units and helicopters on hand, Smith said.
“Every rally that we have there’s always the possibility for some violence to occur,” he said. “That’s always a concern for us regardless of what the group is or the positions they’re taking are.”
The Orange County NAACP has distanced themselves from a planned counter-protest…
Planning for the rallies appears “disorganized and chaotic.”
The identities of the promoters and the groups, if any, behind these rallies so far remains a mystery, said Emily Kaufman, an investigative researcher with ADL. She said the promotion of the events has grabbed the attention of extremists and non-extremists with messaging that supports white grievance, or the idea that White people are victimized or marginalized, which is often the basis of white supremacist rhetoric.
The mission statement for the march, according to posts on Telegram, reads: “To revive the White Racial Consciousness and to unify White People against white hate. A show of support for White victims of interracial crime.”
“We don’t know for sure in which cities they’ll occur or how well they will be attended,” Kaufman said. “It’s still chatter and a lot of it is disorganized and chaotic.”
The primary channel for the rally on Telegram has amassed about 1,850 followers, she said, adding that 48 new city-specific channels have been created, 45 of which are in the United States and five in other countries.
The IREHR warned of these demonstrations in late March…
The social media site Telegram has become widely known for offering a smorgasbord of the worst our society has to offer – providing a haven for a wide variety of racists and antisemites booted from Twitter and Facebook as these social media giants have moved slowly, and generally ineptly, to remove crass bigots and misinformation from their platforms.
In the latest episode of Telegram’s service to the cause of racism, multiple accounts popped up yesterday and today to promote “White Lives Matter” marches in cities around the country set for April 11. As of this writing, pages have been set up to promote marches in at least 16 states. By all evidence, these events are being organized outside the bounds of existing groups and have the capacity to foster alliances between white nationalists and other far rightists as well as to radicalize participants.
In addition to a main “White Lives Matter – 04/11” page, which has 913 members as of this writing, Telegram accounts were created to promote events in the states of Oregon, Alabama, South Carolina and a combined Washington D.C./Maryland/Virginia event. Pages for events in Detroit, Michigan, Springfield, Missouri, Seattle, Washington, Greensboro, North Carolina, Minneapolis, Minnesota, Boston, Massachusetts, Fort Worth, Texas and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania have also been created. A Chicago account appeared on March 25, but is no longer active as of this writing. And, a Frankfurt, Germany account also popped up.
They say it’s shaping up to be a “National Socialist Event”
The strong presence of antisemitism, white nationalism and national socialism among event organizers is undeniable. Crass antisemitism and open displays of Nazi symbols have been welcomed by the main event organizers. This is clear in a series of exchanges between White Lives Matter – 04/11 page administrators and individuals commenting on a post promoting the event and declaring that whites are “rapidly facing extinction in ALL the countries WE built.”
I hope these marches draw dozens and fizzle without conflict… These bigots already get too much media attention.