The poor turnout underscores how the nation’s unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground.

By Brandy Zadrozny

In semi-private, encrypted chats, neo-Nazis and other far-right extremists planned rallies in dozens of cities on Sunday to promote their racist movements and spread their ideologies to larger audiences. 

A single person arrived at Trump Tower for a “White Lives Matter” march and rally Sunday in New York City. The march was organized on the encrypted messaging platform Telegram over the last month with a call for nationwide action.David Dee Delgado / Getty Images

Hyped by organizers as events that would make “the whole world tremble,” the rallies ran into a major problem on Sunday: Hardly anyone showed up. 

The “White Lives Matter” rallies, planned on the encrypted app Telegram, were the first major real-world organization efforts by white supremacists since 2018, and after many aligned groups allegedly participated in the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S Capitol.

The poor showing underscores how the nation’s unpopular and disorganized extremist movements have been driven underground by increased scrutiny from the media, law enforcement and far left activists who infiltrate extremists’ private online spaces and disrupt their attempts to communicate and organize. 

Few “White Lives Matter” marchers showed up on 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. 

‘Nazi’ punches counter-protester at ‘White Lives Matter’ rally in Huntington Beach

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 the city hall building 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 Southern California’s Huntington Beach Pier.

Throughout the afternoon, counterprotesters could be seen on several livestreams chanting “Unity and community,” and “Black lives matter.” A few single protesters, one who wore a full hood and a T-shirt with a white supremacist slogan, were run off by the crowd, who yelled “Go home, Nazis!” 

RAW VIDEO: Clash between ‘White Lives Matter’ and others in Huntington Beach, Calif.

According to fliers for the event — which recycled images from old propaganda from the disbanded neo-Nazi organization Vanguard America — the marches were meant to “take a stand” against the media, government and educational institutions that are “anti-white.”

But the slogan “White Lives Matter,” has been promoted on fliers and banners by white supremacist groups, including neo-Nazis and Ku Klux Klan groups since 2015 as a “a racist response to the Black Lives Matter movement,” according to the Anti-Defamation League.




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