Counter protesters tried to disrupt the marches, but the two groups were kept apart by temporary steel fencing and heavily-armed riot police.
The first demonstration was held in Shelbyville and the second was going to go ahead in Murfreesboro, both in Tennessee. They were described by Nationalist Front organisers as “White Lives Matter” rallies. Supporters of Confederate monuments also took part to bring awareness to the September shooting at an Antioch church.
One woman was killed and seven others were injured in the church shooting by the suspect, Emanuel Kidega Samson, a migrant from Sudan.
The group in Murfreesboro announced however that their rally had been cancelled around 3 pm on Saturday.
Those with the group, The League of the South, had requested a permit for the rally, but pulled out on Saturday afternoon, saying Murfreesboro would not be worth the risk as masked Antifa members were gaining on them.
In August, a similar march turned violent in Charlottesville, Virginia, as a result of poor law enforcement and questionable leadership.
Democratic lawmakers, faith leaders and their supporters denounced the marches on Saturday, suggesting that they could result in violence, but a preliminary action report on the violence in Charlottesville has blamed authorities for the civil unrest that occurred in the city on August 12 during a similar march.
The preliminary report was presented to the Governor’s Civil Unrest Task Force in Richmond Thursday, October 26. The task force, comprised of first responders from elsewhere in Virginia and elected officials, included no one from Charlottesville.
According to the report, city leaders did not take the neccessary precautions ahead of the Unite the Right rally. Additionally, the report accused Charlottesville of having an inadequate permit process.
The city was taken to court after it tried to make changes to organiser Jason Kessler’s permit just a few days before the rally.
International Chiefs of Police Director Jim W. Baker noted the dawn of a new era of protests in the report, involving weapons, shields and a desire to cause harm.
He said Charlottesville leaders were aware of this before protesters and counterprotesters clashed in and around Emancipation Park.
Baker said the park was too small, citing deliberations by authorities to have it moved to McIntire Park. He said the city had been warned about extreme violence, including a potential car attack.