Dallas, Collin Democrats Decry Possibility White Supremacist Group May Plan to Gather in N. Texas This Weekend

Democratic Party leaders in Dallas and Collin counties condemned the possibility that a white supremacist group may be planning to have a conference in North Texas this weekend, officials said.Party spokespersons in both counties said they'd heard reports that the American Identity Movement, formerly known as Identity Evropa, is planning the conference and a day of action for Saturday and Sunday in Dallas and McKinney. The group was one of the organizers of a 2017 Charlottesville, Va., rally where a woman was killed.Dallas police said they're aware of social media posts and fliers regarding a possible march in the Dallas area. No one has contacted the department or requested permits, said Sgt. Warren Mitchell, a department spokesman."The Dallas Police Department will not interfere with a lawful and peaceful assembly of any individuals or group expressing their First Amendment rights," Mitchell said.AIM could not immediately be reached to confirm whether it is planning events in the Dallas area this weekend."The white supremacy movement must be stopped in America," Dallas County Democratic Party chairwoman Carol Donovan said. "It is contrary to the founding principles of our republic."The Southern Poverty Law Center has said AIM is on the forefront of white nationalism, focusing on recruiting white college-age men. As Identity Evrope, it helped plan the 2017 Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, where a man deliberately drove into a crowd, killing a 32-year-old woman and injuring dozens of people. The rally's second anniversary is this week.Collin County Democratic Party spokesman John Shanks said officials learned about the possibility of the event after a recent hack revealed planning documents from AIM that indicated the group planned to meet in Dallas and stay in McKinney hotels or Airbnb rentals. He said the messages showed the group may have been planning to gather at Dallas' Oak Lawn Park, where a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee sat until it was removed in 2017.Shanks urged residents not to engage with AIM members. "White nationalist ideology does not belong in our county today and threatens what truly makes our country great," Collin County Democratic Party Chairman Michael Rawlins said. "Collin County is a diverse and welcoming home for more than a million people."Staff writer David Tarrant contributed to this report.  Continue reading...

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