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Image: People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

U.S. news

White Nationalists Stage Anti-Refugee Protests in Tennessee

White nationalists and neo-Nazis held rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state.

 / Updated 16 PHOTOS
Image: People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Oct. 28, 2017.

About 300 white nationalists and neo-Nazis held back-to-back rallies in two small Tennessee cities on Saturday to protest refugee resettlement in the state, which sued the federal government over the issue earlier this year.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

The protesters started in Shelbyville then traveled about 35 miles north to Murfreesboro for a second rally. Both towns are near Nashville, center of a metropolitan area has become home to refugees from Somalia, Iraq and elsewhere.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

A counter-demonstrator before the start of a rally in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. 

 

Scott Olson / Getty Images
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Image: People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

A man and a woman are wrapped in a Confederate flag during a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Saturday's rallies were organized by the Nationalist Front coalition, which embraces groups considered to be neo-Nazi or neo-Confederate by the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks hate groups.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: A person thought to be an infiltrator is held by people participating in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

A person thought to be an infiltrator is held by people participating in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

Counter-protesters demonstrate during a "White Lives Matter" rally  in Shelbyville.

The "White Lives Matter" rallies in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, organized by some of the same groups involved in a Virginia march that turned violent in August, drew an equal number of counter-demonstrators and a heavy police presence.

Joe Buglewicz / Getty Images
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

A man holds a sign reading "It's okay to be white"  in Murfreesboro.

Joe Buglewicz / Getty Images
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Image: Protesters shout at counter protesters during a White Lives Matter rally in Shelbyville

Protesters shout at counter-protesters during a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Bryan Woolston / Reuters
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Image: People gesture while participating in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

People salute during a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee, on Oct. 28, 2017.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: People from a white nationalist group called the Traditionalist Worker Party participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

Members of a white nationalist group called the Traditionalist Worker Party participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: A member of a group called the National Socialist Movement participates in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

A member of a group called the National Socialist Movement participates in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

Counter-demonstrators hold signs in Shelbyville.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
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Image: People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville

People participate in a "White Lives Matter" rally in Shelbyville.

Stephanie Keith / Reuters
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

Counter-protesters demonstrate against the "White Lives Matter" rally in Murfreesboro.

In Murfreesboro, where protesters were prohibited from carrying shields or wearing masks or helmets, the rally remained peaceful, the city said on Twitter.

 

Joe Buglewicz / Getty Images
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

White nationalists attend a rally in Shelbyville.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
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Image: White Nationalists Hold "White Lives Matter" Rallies In Tennessee, Counter Protests Ensue

A counter-demonstrator holds a sign that reads "Only love matters" before the "White Lives Matter" rally in Murfreesboro.

Scott Olson / Getty Images
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