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Neo-Nazis march in Nashville, leave after being challenged

The group left in a U-Haul box truck that was driven out of the county, police said, indicating the demonstrators were outsiders.
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A small group of neo-Nazis marched in downtown Nashville, Tennessee, on Saturday, drawing a few vocal opponents and ultimately leaving following a "challenge," police said.

The demonstrators, all men, wore red, long-sleeve T-shirts and black pants, and some carried black Nazi flags, according to verified social media video from the scene.

"Neo-Nazi demonstrators ... carried flags with swastikas, walked around the Capitol and parts of downtown Saturday afternoon," Nashville police said in a statement.

No arrests were reported, and the group left in a U-Haul box truck that ultimately exited greater Nashville, police said, indicating the demonstrators may have been from out of town.

"Some persons on Broadway challenged the group, most of whom wore face coverings," the department said. "The group headed to a U-Haul box truck, got in, and departed Davidson County."

Marchers' red shirts included the words "Blood Tribe," a white supremacist membership organization founded in earnest in 2021 by former Marine Christopher Pohlhaus, according to the Anti-Defamation League.

Nazis in Nashville
Nazis marching in downtown Nashville on Saturday.Ruwan Karu via X

The men-only organization eschews "softer optics" in favor of loud and showy demonstrations and hard-line stances on its notion of white superiority, the ADL said.

The group, which the ADL says emphasizes physical fitness and a warlike mentality, has focused mostly on disrupting events oriented toward the LGBTQ community, such as Drag Queen Story Hour readings for children.

"These groups once relegated to the dark corners now feel empowered to spew their noxious ideology out in the open due to our state’s leadership REFUSING to condemn their speech and actions," state Rep. Aftyn Behn, D-Nashville, said on X.

State Rep. Justin Jones, D-Nashville, a reinstated member of the "Tennessee three" group of lawmakers removed by Republicans for protesting gun violence on the House floor last year, blamed GOP legislators for alleged hate speech that he said appeals to neo-Nazis.

"This is exactly what my Republican colleagues hate speech is fostering and inviting," Jones said on X.

Representatives of the Legislature's two Republican caucuses did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Gov., Bill Lee, a Republican, condemned the group in a statement on X. "Nazism and antisemitism should never be tolerated in any form," he said.

"As Jewish people around the world continue to face persecution, Tennessee remains unwavering in our support," he continued.

Video showed a counterdemonstrator following the men along downtown streets, not far from the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, challenging participants to show their faces.

His video captured the march and his reaction.

"Cowards," the man chanted, adding some expletives.