Tags: white nationalists | meeting | parks | tennessee

Are White Nationalists Meeting in Parks in Tennessee?

Are White Nationalists Meeting in Parks in Tennessee?

(tn.gov)

By    |   Monday, 20 November 2017 10:48 AM

At least two known white nationalist meetings have been held this year in Tennessee state parks, with hate groups such as the American Renaissance and Stormfront using state owned facilities to host their annual gatherings, USA Today reported.

Confirming that these groups are meeting in state parks was made difficult by the General Assembly passed House Bill 312.

According to USA Today, this legislation makes confidential "personal identifying and financial information of guests at state parks."

The USA Today Network recently requested information of organizations that had reserved state park facilities in the last few years from the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation.

Officials denied this, citing the bill as reasons to keep this information private.

Department spokesman Eric Ward said per USA Today that the guests who provided information to state parks for reservations "should have the same privacy they have when visiting private venues."

The Tennessean said white nationalist groups were turning to state park facilities amid mounting anti-Fascist activism that has resulted in them being forced out of private venues. There have been at least 14 white supremacist and white nationalist gatherings held at state park facilities over the past seven years, the newspaper said.

Earlier this month, The HuffPost attempted to seek out a conference associated with Stormfront, singling out the Cumberland Mountain State Park as the potential meeting place.

Heidi Beirich, director of the Southern Poverty Law Center's Intelligence Report noted that these groups loved Tennessee because the state had to rent to the public, The Tennessean noted.

Carla Hill, an investigative researcher for the Anti-Defamation League's Center on Extremism, added that the trend would likely continue.

"They know that public parks, and even public libraries, are limited on their ability to not allow people in the park, a public place," said Hill, per The Tennessean. "So they do hold events at these locations, because they know they can't be legally denied that right."

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At least two known white nationalist meetings have been held this year in Tennessee state parks, with hate groups such as the American Renaissance and Stormfront using state owned facilities to host their annual gatherings, USA Today reported.
white nationalists, meeting, parks, tennessee
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2017-48-20
Monday, 20 November 2017 10:48 AM
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