The Traditionalist Worker Party (TWP) will be bringing their demonstrations to Cleveland during the RNC.
Last Sunday, 30-40 members of the TWP clashed with around 400 counter-protesters believed to be loosely ideologically connected on the steps of the Capitol Building in Sacramento. During the state-sanctioned protest, 10 people suffered stab and laceration wounds, two of whom were in critical condition following the skirmish.
“TWP, formed in January of this year as the political wing of the Traditionalist Youth Network (TYN), [is] an identitarian-inspired umbrella group that aims to indoctrinate high school and college students into white nationalism,” Keegan Hankes of the Southern Poverty Law Center has written about the group.
The TWP states on their website that they “have a docket of candidates preparing to run in upcoming local races.” These candidates include Tom Pierce of Knox County, Tennessee, well-known white nationalists Bob Whitaker and Tom Bowie, Taylor Rose of Montana and Tony Horvater of New Carlisle, Ohio. The TWP, however, states it's concerned “less about the candidates and campaigns than it is about building relationships of loyalty and support at the neighborhood and community level.”
Their far-right platform is the typical modus operandi of white nationalist groups: pro-local/anti-federal, pro-traditional family and pro-life, anti-socialism, and Eurocentrism/anti-multiculturalism.
Late last week, the ACLU, representing Citizens for Trump, and a loosely connected group of local and national groups prepared to protest against Trump scored a victory with their lawsuit against the city of Cleveland. Among the victories for the plaintiffs: a smaller event zone and a longer parade route. The ACLU and the city are expected to release more specifics to the public in the near future.
Larry Bresler, a plaintiff in the lawsuit, of Organize Ohio, a grassroots group based in Cleveland, told Scene
before the lawsuit was filed, “there is a lot of fear, but everyone wants it to be peaceful.” Bresler believes individuals, not groups, are going to deviate from the script and incite violence.
Bryan Hamby, the treasurer and founder of a group of young professionals called Stand Against Trump, which will be demonstrating at the RNC, also told Scene
before the lawsuit that he doesn’t buy “the narrative of violence. Non-violence is a principle of these organizations. Protest groups are planning on being non-violent.”
With groups that have openly denounced violence attending alongside groups that have been recently involved in a demonstration that turned violent, the climate for the RNC remains uncertain.