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The Traditionalist Worker Party: 3 facts you probably didn't know




Police tape and protest signs at the state Capitol on Sunday, June 26, 2016, after violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and counter-protestors during a right-wing extremist rally.
Police tape and protest signs at the state Capitol on Sunday, June 26, 2016, after violent clashes broke out between demonstrators and counter-protestors during a right-wing extremist rally.
Andrew Nixon / Capital Public Radio

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At least 10 people were injured — some stabbed —  at a neo-Nazi rally in Sacramento on Sunday. Violence broke out when members of the white nationalist group Traditionalist Worker Party and counter protestors clashed in California's capital.

The Traditionalist Worker Party received a permit to gather on the west steps of the Capitol building. They said the rally  was designed to assist supporters of  the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump.

But who is this group, exactly? To find out, Ryan Lenz, editor of the Hate Watch blog at the Southern Poverty Law Center, joined host A Martinez.

Where does the Traditionalist Worker Party come from?

The Traditionalist Worker Party belongs to a larger group called the Traditionalist Youth Network, which Lenz describes as "a nation-wide network of young, politically-motivated, white nationalists."

Who leads the Traditionalist Youth Network?

His name is Matthew Heimbach, and he "is the young face of hate in America today," Lenz said. "He has been active on the radical right for a number of years. He began his activism as a college student in Maryland, where he started a white student union, and he was made famous for these chalkings that he put on the sidewalk, saying like 'white pride,' or 'white guilt is over.'" 

What do these groups believe?

They're rooted in the idea of ethno-nationalism, which seeks a living space for white people that is separate from other groups. They base their way of thinking in love — as in, "'we love our own people more than we like everyone else,'" Lenz said. 

To listen to the full interview, click on the blue audio player above.