White Lives Matter Group Protests Juneteenth Celebration in Tennessee

By: The Trend Wire

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White Lives Matter protested at Franklin, Tennessee's Juneteenth celebration on Saturday.

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The Williamson Homepage says 10 young white men wore matching white shirts with logos and black skull balaclavas. The men held signs saying "Stop White Replacement" and "It's ok to be white."

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Juneteenth celebrates the day Union soldiers marched into Galveston, Texas, in 1865 to free the remaining slaves. The Pew Charitable Trusts found 250,000 enslaved people in Texas at the time.

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The City of Franklin said another group also crashed Juneteenth. "This afternoon, festival organisers asked two groups to leave," the statement read.

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"One group carried signs like 'White Lives Matter' and 'Stop White Replacement'"

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Franklin Police Department had no prior knowledge of the protest, a spokesperson told Williamson Homepage.

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"The other group, who said they were there as a buffer, included armed people in ballistic vests. They both left when asked. Franklin police officers stopped the fight and made no arrests "city statement.

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Both groups distributed flyers saying, "The anti-white system is committed to our spiritual and physical genocide." The pamphlets were handed out before police arrived, according to WMSV-4.

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"Great Replacement Theory" is a racist conspiracy that claims whites are being replaced by minorities. 

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The theory is believed to have inspired a series of mass killings in recent years, including the Buffalo, New York, grocery store shooting.

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The nonprofit Global Project Against Hate and Extremism calls it a "white supremacist, xenophobic, and anti-immigrant concept"

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that says white people are being replaced by immigrants, Muslims, and other people of colour in their "home" countries.

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"The conspiracy blames 'elites' and Jews for changing demographics. Renaud Camus popularised the idea in his 2011 book Le Grand Remplacement "charity added.

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Saturday, a protester handed out a flyer at the festival saying the group is different from the White Lives Matter group that protested in Shelbyville, Tennessee, in 2017.

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The 2017 White Lives Matter rally in Shelbyville saw high tensions, but no violence, CBS News reported. The protest area was heavily policed, and only one person was arrested after jumping a barrier to reach the rally.

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Some drivers honked in support of the Franklin protesters, according to the Williamson Homepage.

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White Lives Matter held rallies last year, but some were poorly attended or cancelled. Counterprotesters sometimes outnumbered them.

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Newsweek asked Franklin's media office and police department for comment.