Former KKK Leader David Duke To Hold White Nationalist Rally in Tennessee

A white nationalist conference featuring a former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard is slated to take place this weekend at a park near Nashville, and counter protesters already have actions of their own planned. 

Related: Trump Defended KKK Members Because He Said 'Who Really Knows What the KKK Believes Now,' Book Claims

The joint conference of the American Freedom Party and Council of Conservative Citizens, planned Friday to Sunday at Montgomery Bell State Park, comes less than a couple months after protestors descended on an annual white nationalist conference there.

Both organizations behind the upcoming conference are considered white nationalist hate groups by the Southern Poverty Law Center. The Council was cited in Charleston church shooter Dylann Roof's manifesto as having ushered him into white nationalism.

One of the most prominent white supremacist leaders in the country, former Grand Wizard of the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan David Duke, will be the main speaker at the conference, The Tennessean reported on Monday.

Another scheduled speaker, Michael Hill, is president of League of the South, which held a “White Lives Matter” rally against immigration last October in Shelbyville, Tennessee, that was estimated to be the largest white supremacist gathering in 10 years, after Charlottesville.

Other speakers are Kevin MacDonald, considered “the neo-Nazi movement’s favorite academic” by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and former Vanderbilt University professor Virginia Abernethy, a longtime associate of the Council of Conservative Citizens, according to the center.

The joint conference already has planned opposition.

Jam City Antifa, an anti-fascist group, announced an action week starting Tuesday that it says is aimed at bringing awareness to efforts by white nationalists in the Nashville area and elsewhere.

“Unlike your typical Liberal-Antifascism, we aim to make things a little different this time…. As Anti Fascists we follow the rule of ‘Go Where They Go’ & ‘Move When They Move,’” the group stated on its blog Monday. “So if the Fash want to fill our parks, & endanger our towns with Alt-Right nonsense for 3 days, we respond in kind by taking action throughout the week.”

The action week includes a vigil and silent march for lives lost to racism on Thursday, in memory of Charlottesville among other events, and an “Unwelcome The AFP/CCC” action on Friday at the hotel and site of the conference.

Conference attendees as well as protesters will be searched and “anything that could be considered a weapon” will not be allowed at the park, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation spokesman Eric Ward told The Tennessean.

About two dozen protestors showed up in April at the annual conference of American Renaissance, which the center also calls a white nationalist hate group. About 100 law enforcement officers monitored the conference.

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