COLUMBUS, Ind. – A white supremacist group staged a practice march in Columbus, Indiana this past weekend, which left some people in the area with an uneasy feeling.
Julie Lowe and her family were eating dinner at a restaurant for her birthday when they noticed a group of men with the Traditionalist Worker Party march by in the 400 block of Washington Street.
"My husband said that's hate,” said Lowe. “These men are here for hate.”
The Southern Poverty Law Center finds, “The Traditionalist Worker Party is a white nationalist group that advocates for racially pure nations and communities and blames Jews for many of the world’s problems. Even as it claims to oppose racism, saying every race deserves its own lands and culture, the group is intimately allied with neo-Nazi and other hardline racist organizations that espouse unvarnished white supremacist views.”
Lowe said after witnessing the march, she wanted to leave the restaurant and go home.
“I had my sons with me, an 11-year-old and a 19-year-old,” said Lowe. “I was extremely uncomfortable, but my husband said no we are going to go ahead with our plans and walk around our city.”
According to the group’s website, one of their leaders wrote, “Now is not, the time for unity. It's not the time for love. It's the time for disunity, and hate.”
Lowe said she filed a police report, but officers said the group exercised their First Amendment rights, and broke no laws.
"It is certainly contrary to the spirit of our community,” said Lt. Matt Harris with the Columbus Police Department. “This is a very diverse place with people from all over the world coming to live and work. It is definitely disappointing."
Columbus mayor issued a statement in response to the event:
It is equally important to denounce this group. The city of Columbus does not support the racist ideology upon which this group was founded.
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