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Feb 25, 20

Coalition Calls for Demonstration Against Racist, White Nationalist Conference in Burns, Tennessee this May

Call from the Antifascist Unity Coalition to oppose the white nationalist ‘American Renaissance’ conference in Burns, Tennessee from May 29th – 31st. The American Renaissance has been instrumental in the creation of the Alt-Right and also in influencing the racist, anti-immigrant policies of Stephen Miller. This year’s conference will feature a Belgian politician facing hate crime charges and French author of manifesto cited in New Zealand shooting.

For the eighth year the American Renaissance Conference (AmRen) will be taking place at Montgomery Bell Park Inn in Burns, Tennessee, 45 minutes outside of Nashville, and the newly formed Antifascist Unity Coalition has called for a protest against the conference as it does.

AmRen is slated to be held May 29-31, and will include speakers and attendees who have been in the news as of late stemming from concerns about neo-Nazi and white supremacist propaganda being distributed across the country. Many were also participants in the tragic “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, VA which cost the life of Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer after a White supremacist ran into her and others with his car.

Among the speakers that are scheduled to speak are two dubious figures from Europe. Reynaud Camus is traveling here from France and is cited on the AmRen website as the originator of “The Great Replacement” conspiracy theory that White people are being replaced by people of color. It has most notably been the driving inspiration for Brenton Tarrant, the Australia-born terrorist responsible for the mosque shootings on March 15, 2019 at Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre in Christchurch, New Zealand that killed 51 people and injured 49. Dries Van Langenhove, Belgium youngest Member of Parliament, and the founder and leader of the neo-fascist youth organization Schild & Vrienden, is another speaker. In June, he was accused of breaking laws on racism, Holocaust denial and the possession of weapons, charges that reportedly are still pending. The announcement that he is speaking at this conference has attracted media attention in his country.

Originally, the white supremacists who organize this conference chose this park because unlike the private hotels that have barred them from hosting their event in their establishments, publicly owned facilities such as the conference hall in the park that they use do not have the luxury of doing so, as anyone in the public is to have access to the Inn and the park. However, since 2017, the year where they promoted the tragic “Unite the Right” rally taking place two weeks later, the Montgomery Bell Park Inn is closed to the general public, protesters are regulated to a barricaded section of the park, and only those attending the conference is allowed the space. It is a betrayal of the local community and residents if this conference is preventing them enjoying their park.

There will be rallies held during the conference at Montgomery Bell and the public is urged to participate. For more information, or if an organization or church is interested in signing on as a co-sponsor or participating in the rally/press conference, they are urged to email [email protected] or visit the event page at https://www.facebook.com/events/2520007818287744/.

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