Rallies organized in many parts of the country for Sunday, April 11 by right wing groups around the theme of ‘White Lives Matter’ turned out to be flops.
In semi-private, encrypted chats, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists planned rallies in dozens of cities Sunday to promote their racist movements and spread their ideologies to larger audiences.
Hyped by organizers as events that would make “the whole world tremble,” the rallies ran into a major problem: Hardly anyone showed up.
The “White Lives Matter” rallies, the first major real-world organizing efforts by white supremacists since 2018, were planned on the encrypted app Telegram after many aligned groups were alleged to have taken part in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S Capitol.
The poor showing underscores how the country’s unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement agencies and far-left activists who infiltrate their private online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize.
Few “White Lives Matter” marchers showed up Sunday, but anti-racist and anti-fascist groups gathered just the same.
In Raleigh, North Carolina, a small crowd of antifa and anti-racist protesters gathered at the park where the “White Lives Matter” march was planned. They marched around downtown behind a large white sign that read, “WE ACCEPT YOUR SURRENDER.”
The lackluster events were documented by livestreams and photos posted to Twitter.
In Philadelphia, activists tweeted photos of a counterprotest picnic with pizza and Tastykake snacks. In New York City, over a dozen counterprotesters stood seemingly unopposed across the street from Trump Tower, where a “White Lives Matter” rally was expected.
Police in downtown Albuquerque, New Mexico, formed a circle around a lone protester to separate him from a large crowd of counterprotesters. Three protesters assembled around a “White Lives Matter” banner outside City Hall in Fort Worth, Texas, where a police line separated them from a couple of dozen counterprotesters.
Hundreds of counterprotesters, bystanders and media members gathered at a counterprotest at the scheduled start time of a “White Lives Matter” march at Huntington Beach Pier southeast of Los Angeles.
Throughout the afternoon, counterprotesters could be seen on several livestreams chanting “Unity and community” and “Black lives matter.” A few single protesters, one of whom wore a full hood and a T-shirt with a white supremacist slogan, were run off by the crowd, who yelled “Go home, Nazis!”
Maybe next time they should get Trump to be their keynote speaker in order to increase attendance.
While it is nice to hear that the rallies were a total bust, it would be a mistake to dismiss these groups as yesterday’s news, people who have been so demoralized by Trump’s exit from the White House that they have folded their tents and gone home for good.
It is more likely that they are lying low and merely licking their wounds but still harbor ideas of sparking a mass revolt and civil war to overthrow what they see as a tyrannical government that is dominated by non-white non-Christians and is thus, by default, illegitimate.