Rally at UT brings 45 white nationalists, 250 protesters, 200 law enforcement officers

About 45 white nationalists showed up for a Saturday rally on the University of Tennessee Knoxville campus that was led by Matthew Heimbach, leader of a group known as Traditionalist Worker Party, reports the News Sentinel. So did 250 people protesting white nationalists and about 200 law enforcement officers from four different agencies.

There were no arrests, though six people were issued tickets for obstructing a highway during the protests, according to University of Tennessee Police Chief Troy Lane.

“I have repeatedly said they weren’t invited,” said UT Chancellor Beverly Davenport afterward. “We didn’t want them here. I certainly didn’t want them to come here. This is not a place that stands for hate and bigotry and prejudice. I’ve said that before and I’ll say it again.”

Heimbach is co-founder of the TWP and spent more than two hours talking to the roughly 45 people gathered with him on Saturday about his vision for a whites-only state where the purpose of women is “to have and raise children” and homosexuality is grounds for capital punishment.

Meanwhile, protesters assembled at the Humanities Amphitheater for a “No Nazis on Rocky Top” event organized by the UTK Progressive Student Alliance.

Despite a cold rain, the group later spread across campus, with many choosing not to enter a secure demonstration area police had set up outside Ayres Hall.

The crowd was a motley crew of students, faculty and local residents wielding fabric banners and poster board signs that read “no nazis in knox” and “all you fascists are going to lose.”

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