Planned Pro-Trump, Anti-Muslim Rallies Moved Online In Wake Of Charlottesville

Demonstrators gathered to protest against Islamic law, foreground, stand across from counter demonstrators Saturday, June 10, 2017, in New York. In more than two dozen cities across the United States, the group organizing the rallies, ACT for America, is speaking out against Shariah law, saying it is incompatible with Western democracy and the freedoms it affords. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle)
Demonstrators gathered to protest against Islamic law, foreground, stand across from counter demonstrators Saturday, June 10, 2017, in New York. In more than two dozen cities across the United States, the group organ... Demonstrators gathered to protest against Islamic law, foreground, stand across from counter demonstrators Saturday, June 10, 2017, in New York. In more than two dozen cities across the United States, the group organizing the rallies, ACT for America, is speaking out against Shariah law, saying it is incompatible with Western democracy. (AP Photo/Craig Ruttle) MORE LESS
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Anti-Muslim activists interested in rubbing shoulders with like-minded individuals at upcoming nationwide “America First” rallies were met with bad news Monday.

ACT for America, one of the country’s largest anti-Muslim groups, announced the cancellation of some 67 demonstrations in 36 states out of concern that “violence” could break out at those events. The organization shared the news with Breitbart that it would instead hold an online “Day of ACTion” for supporters.

“ACT for America is deeply saddened that in today’s divisive climate, citizens cannot peacefully express their opinion without risk of physical harm from terror groups domestic and international,” the organization said in a statement provided to Breitbart. “In recent weeks, extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas, and in many cases, violence has been the result. Given the security issues of organizing public events, the responsible decision is to deny this opportunity to Neo-Nazis, Antifa, the KKK, and ISIS inspired individuals and groups.”

Although it didn’t mention any specific event by name, the statement appeared to reference the recent white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia where one counter-protester was killed and at least 19 others injured in a car attack. Another event organized in Boston by the so-called “alt-right,” the broader and loosely affiliated group of racists, misogynists and anti-Semites, was largely peaceful, with an estimated 40,000 counter-protesters hugely outnumbering the rally attendees.

In a belated response Tuesday afternoon, ACT spokesperson Brian Glicklich told TPM that the cancellations were not “based on any single event.”

Instead, the decision was related to “the rapidly evolving landscape of threats and harassment directed at public free speech rallies,” Glicklich said. “We cannot justify putting our supporters in that kind of environment.”

The “America First” rallies were originally billed as opportunities for supporters of President Donald Trump to commemorate the 9/11 terrorist attacks, express support for law enforcement and promote “real protection over political correctness” in the fight against the Islamic State terror group. ACT has held similar rallies before, including June protests against what they see as the threat of “creeping” Shariah law. Brigitte Gabriel, who founded the group, is a vocal Trump supporter who in March shared photographs of herself at the White House that she said were taken during a meeting there.

The Southern Poverty Law Center designates ACT as a hate group due to its virulent rhetoric about Muslims and Islam.

Madihha Ahussain, special counsel for the anti-Muslim bigotry and civil rights organization Muslim Advocates, said in a statement that by canceling the rallies “ACT is essentially acknowledging that these types of events cause and incite violence.”

“The reality is that ACT for America’s supporters are no different than those who marched in and supported the Charlottesville events,” Ahussain continued.

City officials in some locations where events were planned had already pushed back against ACT, associating the organization with other far-right extremist groups.

“My message to them is ‘We don’t want you here,” Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett told local ABC affiliate WISN this week. “We don’t want any Nazi groups here, any white supremacist or ‘alt-right’ groups who are coming because this is a city of inclusion. It’s not a city of exclusion, and it’s not a city of white supremacy so go somewhere else and bother the people there.”

Barrett’s office did not immediately respond to TPM’s request for comment on the rallies’ cancelation.

Resistance to the planned ACT rallies is just one aspect of the mass pushback against far-right and extremist groups after Charlottesville. Universities have canceled white nationalist events and major technology companies have booted them off their platforms.

Last week, the right-wing leaders of demonstrations organized to protest Google’s firing of James Damore, a male employee who wrote a memo arguing that women were biologically unfit for technical positions at the company, canceled events at Google facilities on account of what they said were “credible threats from known Alt Left terrorist groups.”

This post has been updated.

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Notable Replies

  1. The online Day of ACTion will include a video of how best to run a vehicle into a crowd of people (preferably Muslims or peaceful anti-racist protesters) and get away without being identified or caught.

  2. They realized that if they go marching without their hoods on they’ll be shamed out of public life, so they’re reverting to anonymous gatherings. They’re cowards.

  3. See the guy with the Sharia sign. 5 years ago he had never heard the word. He still hasn’t the slightest idea what it means and how silly it is to be concerned with it. He was told how to think and does so. And that is the problem.

    We’ve got a bunch of Americans ready to go to war with the rest over non-extant things. Sharia Law taking over, Globalism ( whatever that is ), White genocide, Socialism, false flags and the destruction of traditional marriage. None of it real but a young woman was killed recently in the “fight” against it.

    I’ve said this before in here and I know it pisses a lot of folks off but America…you have a problem. When I first came here I was astounded at the number of stupid, provincial dupes that live in this country. Millions upon millions of convenience store rubes, flabby pizza addicts and dupes buying the same old "lose 50 pounds in one day eating ice cream " tabloids week after week and just not getting it. Sitting is a single-wide on a duct taped lazy-boy watching Judge Judy ( not a judge ) or Dr. Phil ( not a doctor ). It was only a matter of time before some pernicious cynic decided to put them in play against their own interests. I can almost hear Bannon cautioning the Trump campaign on erudite economic arguments or charts and graphs. “Just give them pap…piss them off…tell them you’ll fuck over the enemies you created for them and they’ll get off their fat asses and vote for you”. And here we are.

    There’s a flaw in Democracy. If the largest segment of it is dumb as shit you can dupe it into fucking itself over. Rule by the lowest common denominator. Like I said. Here we are.

  4. “ACT for America is deeply saddened that in today’s divisive climate, citizens cannot peacefully express their opinion without risk of physical harm from terror groups domestic and international,” the organization said in a statement provided to Breitbart. “In recent weeks, extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas, and in many cases, violence has been the result. Given the security issues of organizing public events, the responsible decision is to deny this opportunity to Neo-Nazis, Antifa, the KKK, and ISIS inspired individuals and groups.”

    Shorter: One racist group is trying to distance itself from other racist groups.

  5. As well as: “We want to keep our day jobs even though we’re racists assholes and saw that America really isn’t all that into us.”

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