Knoxville, TN: Neo-Nazis outnumbered 700 to 1 at Knoxville Women’s March

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By Beth Foster

Heimbach is trying to make the most out of his new Tennessee location, but it seems he just keeps embarrassing himself! Then again anyone counterprotesting the 2018 Women March would!

Once again neo-Nazis tried to rally in Tennessee, and once again they were outnumbered by the hundreds.

Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Worker Party attempted to use this Sunday’s failed rally to promote both his racist and sexist ideology. Calling his white separatist followers to Knoxville on Sunday, Jan. 21, Heimbach wrote on tradworker.com that the Traditionalist Worker Party would protest the “feminist march,” referring to the Knoxville Women’s March, and then join the anti-choice march that was happening in the same area, near Market Square, later that afternoon.

The Traditionalist Worker Party’s history in Tennessee includes an assault on an interracial couple at a Brentwood restaurant in October following a failed white supremacist rally in Murfreesboro. When Heimbach’s plans to be present at the Women’s March were announced, organizers quickly changed the location of the march and increased security measures.

As happened in Memphis earlier this month, those wishing to counter-protest the neo-Nazis were forced into barricaded “protest areas,” and the Traditionalist Worker Party members were escorted into and out of the city under heavy local and state police guard.

Heimbach was one of the organizers of the deadly and violent Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Va. He cited that day, a day that left three people dead and several with severe injuries, in his call for Traditionalist Worker Party member to come to Knoxville.

In the blog post, titled “Pussy Hats and Pitchforks, he wrote: “With a just over a thousand men in Charlottesville, we changed the world. We made such a huge impact on American culture because our mobilization of men was backed by an ideology that cannot be defeated.”

Knoxville Police have estimated that about 14,000 people joined the Women’s March, while there were about 20 men inside the barricaded area police provided for the Traditionalist Worker Party. Inside the barricade, the men held Confederate flags, and misogynistic and racist banners as dozens of Women’s March attendees heckled them.

The Women’s March in Knoxville was one of more than 250 anniversary marches, marking one year since millions of women and their allies around the world poured into the streets to protest the inauguration of Donald Trump as U.S. president. About 700 people participated in the anti-choice March for Life event just a few blocks away.

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

While Heimbach wrote that the Traditionalist Worker Party was coming to Knoxville to stand with the anti-choice march, organizers for the March for Life denounced his support via Facebook post earlier in the week and from all indications he didn’t attend the event.

Less than two hours after they arrived at their barricaded protest area, the Traditionalist Worker Party members were escorted back to their vehicles in a nearby parking garage by several police officers in riot gear. A crowd of antifa and anti-racist activists followed them, shouting, “Go home Nazi.”

Eva Watler, a Jewish woman from Nashville who had family members murdered during the Holocaust, was among them. She shouted at Heimbach, who also espouses anti-Semitic ideology, “Say it to a Jewish woman.”

Watler said she was there because history tells her how dangerous the ideology is. “When Nazis started meeting and marching in Germany everyone ignored them, thought they were kind of silly. By the time they realized they were organized, they had power and it was too late. I will not cede my streets to them.”

Following an SUV with several armed officers riding on the outside of the vehicle, the Traditionalist Worker Party’s caravan of four to six vehicles was escorted out of the city and back to the interstate.

Posted by Beth Foster on Sunday, January 21, 2018


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