A Tennessee City Women’s March has changed its plans following reports of White nationalists planning to crash the event. According to USA Today, organizers swapped routes and beefed up security in anticipation of the Traditionalist Worker Party’s protest. Founder Matthew Heimbach announced plans to protest the Knoxville march via their website on Friday, stressing anti-abortion and anti-feminist beliefs.
“As the defenders and advocates of women and our children, the Traditionalist Worker Party is taking a stand in Knoxville Tennessee on Sunday January 21st against the proposed feminist march and in support of the March for Life being held the same day,” Heimbach’s post read. “Any movement that doesn’t defend the sanctity of life is not a movement worth having. If we are to build a free nation for our children, we must first secure life for our children.”
Interestingly enough (or maybe not so much), the organization reportedly has plans to stand behind the March for Life, an anti-abortion march scheduled for the same day. Stacy Dunn, director of the Knox County chapter of Tennessee Right to Life—who’s holding the event—stresses that they do not support white nationalist beliefs, however, and are also putting together a security plan with Knoxville police.
The Women’s March, which goes down on Sunday, takes place a year after the Women’s March on Washington and President Trump’s inauguration. Over 250 marches are scheduled worldwide.
“Our purpose is mainly a celebration,” Kimberly Peterson, spokeswoman for the Women’s March Coalition of East Tennessee, stated. “It’s a positive, upbeat event. Our participants have certain values, and even in a tough presidential year, there were a lot of successes. That’s been the theme of our event — to celebrate successes.”
“The focus is going to be on celebrating the success of the last year, not to be a negative and angry fest, complaining and anti-Trump and that kind of thing,” she continued. “It’s mainly acknowledging that we have more work to do, but even in a tough political climate we got a lot of good things done.”