In the wake of a series of violent attacks and calls for violence by a local detective, a coalition of neo-Nazi groups across Tennessee and Arkansas are coming together to rally against Pride in Knoxville, Tennessee. As in other cities, Pride organizers are looking to police to manage and contain not the neo-Nazis, but those who may push back against their presence.
There has been a lot of controversy and outrage surrounding Pride in Knoxville this year. From cops to fascists, the local LGBTQ+ community has faced a lot in recent months. Earlier this summer, a trans women’s vehicles was vandalized in what appeared to be targeted attacks, and a queer bartender was beaten while leaving her job by a man who identified himself as a neo-Nazi.
No tolerance for hate crimes in Knoxville! A hate crime happened in The Old City the other evening. It's your grad student & employee at Hodges Library @UTKnoxville, what are you going to do? Attn: @wbir @wvlt @6news @knoxnews @WUOTFM @WUTKTheRock @UTKDailyBeacon @shaunking https://t.co/NkdhrMF723
— The People's Radio (@wozoradio) April 19, 2019
Adding to the violence, on the first Sunday of Pride Month, former Knox County Sheriffs Office (KCSO) detective Grayson Fritts delivered a bigoted sermon at the All Scripture Baptist Church in East Knoxville calling for the state to arrest and execute the LGBTQ+ community in Knoxville. He called for the State to bring in the riot police and round up Pride Parade attendees as a way to expedite this action. These genocidal statements did not result in the firing of Detective Fritts, because Sheriff Tom Spangler as well as Mayor Glenn Jacobs both believe that the views expressed in the sermon were within his right to free speech. Instead, Detective Fritts was allowed to take a voluntary buyout which will go into effect July 19. Until then, he remains on paid sick leave with KCSO and remains eligible for pension.
On the fascist front, Kynan Dutton, formerly of the National Socialist Movement (NSM), announced on VK that he would be protesting Pride again this year. Last year, Kynan was arrested after assaulting antifascists at Knox Pride. This year Kynan will be demonstrating with Billy Roper and the Shieldwall Network (SWN).
Previously, Kynan was associated with the National Socialist Movement (NSM), the group responsible for the armed and police-escorted white supremacist disruption of the Motor City Pride Festival in Detroit, MI earlier this month.
Although Kynan’s buddies in the NSM, including Michael J. Scholer of Decatur, TN, have since turned on him as a result of his split to the SWN, Kynan is now serving as the East Tennessee coordinator for SWN and may bring some familiar faces from SWN to Knox Pride. Johan Carollo, who once resided in Knoxville and actively engaged in Nazi activity, is now believed to live in Arkansas with Julian Calfy. Since Roper has announced he’ll be coming from Arkansas to Knoxville this weekend, we can expect a few SWN members to carpool together. Judging from responses to Kynan’s VK account, we don’t expect a large turnout, but it is definitely a threat to be aware of this weekend.
Colton Williams, leader of LoSA, along with other local fascists Craig Spaulding, Caleb Rose, and Corey Scott Whittman, have been seen around Knoxville in recent months, but since their first action in Knoxville the day after the arson attack on the Highlander Center, LoSA has not had many numbers. LoSA may or may not join with SWN this weekend. Kynan and other SWN members are outspoken Odinists, and LoSA has had strong rhetoric against pagans in statements posted online. However, Colton, Johan, and Kynan were at a rally in Little Rock, AK together shortly before LoSA’s debut. Still, Colton has been actively defending his organization from his personal accounts and the LoSA twitter primarily to reinforce that they have no affiliation with pagans or Matthew Heimbach, who previously led the defunct Traditionalist Worker Party, which Colton and Johan were both members of.
It is unclear if the fascists will be able to stand together given their tendencies to infight and split into factions, in addition to LoSA’s hard stance against anyone they deem not to be Eastern Orthodox or TradCath.
On top of all of this, Knox Pride has requested that parade participants “take the high road” by accepting that fascists looking to harass parade participants are still protected by the First Amendment. The Knox Pride board issued a statement that anyone who was part of the parade should not engage with fascists, or they would be removed by the police at the direct request of the board. They also stated that in addition to both city and state police, undercover police would also be stationed along the parade route, and that “Parade Staff will pull out any Participant or unit that does not keep the theme or their behavior within a family guideline,” and clarified that this means participants are not permitted to comment on race, creed, or body autonomy, masking them as “sensitive issues.”
As recent events have further compromised the freedom and safety of the LGBTQ+ community in Knoxville, to have the City, County, and even the Knox Pride board side with the oppressors under the tired guise of First Amendment rights is a blatant disregard for the meaning of Pride – to celebrate liberation from those oppressors.
On May 5, swastika-flag-carrying white supremacists chanted "6 million more" at a Holocaust remembrance event in Russellville, Arkansas.Read our full story: http://bit.ly/2VQx6aJ
由 snopes.com 发布于 2019年5月10日周五
This year’s Pride marks the 50th anniversary of both the Stonewall Riots and a period of major change in the history of queer liberation. The state has always sought to oppress gender and sexual non-conformity, seeing it as a threat to expected societal roles and subsequent perpetuation of capitalism. Stonewall was a reaction to the state-sanctioned violence from police endured by the LGBTQ+ community (as well as many other marginalized groups including homeless youth and black and brown folks). Despite the recent trend of police donning rainbows and joining Pride Parades, they have never been friends of the queer community, especially in a city like Knoxville which has a history of protecting white supremacy and promoting bigotry, and a sordid record of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community.
This month we look to our predecessors – groups like Street Transvestite Action Revolutionaries, Act Up, Gay Shame, and the Lesbian Avengers, to bring us the courage and inspiration to stand up for freedom from oppression by the state, police, fascist groups, individual bigots, and agents of capitalism disguised in rainbow. We will continue to stand arm-in-arm in love and solidarity as we have in the past.