Brace yourself, Cleveland. Winter White supremacy is coming.
At least one group of white nationalists has pledged to attend next month's Republican National Convention in Cleveland, for the stated purpose of protecting Donald Trump supporters from... well, almost everyone else.
"We’re essentially just going to show up and make sure that the Donald Trump supporters are defended from the leftist thugs,” Matt Parrott, a spokesman for the Traditionalist Worker Party, told McClatchy. Parrott said the party expects around 30 members will be in Cleveland during the convention, which runs July 18 - 21.
On Sunday, the party hosted a rally in Sacramento, California, in conjunction with a group of skinheads. In addition to voicing support for Trump, organizers said they also wanted to "make a statement about the precarious situation our race is in.” The event quickly turned violent, seven people were stabbed and nine hospitalized.
Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism at Cal State San Bernardino, told the LA Times afterward the violence was likely welcomed, as it makes the group look more like a victim than an aggressor.
"Make no mistake – I think the hatemongers wanted to have this violence take place,” Levin said. “And some of the anti-fascists very much wanted to have a violent confrontation.”
Parrott blamed the violence on counter-protesters who were determined to disrupt the rally, and as such wouldn't commit to an entirely peaceful outcome in Cleveland.
"You’re going to have a relatively civil event where you’re going to have the leftists protesting Trump and you’re going to have us arguing up against the leftists," he said, adding: "There might be a couple of isolated skirmishes."