Tennessee News

White nationalist group plans to protest Knoxville Pridefest

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) - A white nationalist group says it will protest Knoxville's Pridefest.

According to an event posted on Facebook, the Tennessee League of the South and the Shield Wall Network, plus what's described as a host of other nationalist organizations, are planning to protest.

The post describes Pridefest as an "abominable event in the heart of the Bible Belt." 

Pridefest is Knoxville's annual celebration of the LGBTQ community. Organizers describe it as focusing on promoting equality and inclusion of all people.

Protests have taken place at Pridefest in the past, including one attended by Traditionalist Worker Party leader Matthew Heimbach, who made headlines with his speech at the University of Tennessee and later assault arrest in a domestic dispute.

Knoxville police say they're aware of the planned protest and the department is currently working on security plans.

Pridefest is Saturday, June 23. The pride parade is at 11 a.m., marching through downtown. The festival itself is being held at Mary Costa Plaza near the Civic Coliseum from noon to 8 p.m.

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