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White Nationalist Group Holds Small March in Washington


FILE - The U.S. Capitol Building can be seen behind fencing with barbed wire in Washington, Jan. 28, 2021. A small group of white nationalists marched to the Capitol on Jan. 29, 2021.

A white nationalist group held a small rally in Washington on Friday, carrying a large banner and briefly chanting as they marched to the U.S. Capitol.

The march, captured on video by ProPublica reporter Lydia DePillis, shows more than 20 members of the group marching in tight formation past monuments and down the National Mall leading to the Capitol building.

They wore blue jackets, khaki pants and white masks and carried upside-down American flags, along with banners reading "Strong Families, Strong Nations" and "For the Life of our Nation."

At one point, they shouted "Reclaim our nation!" and lit smoke bombs that dispersed red and blue smoke.

The march comes slightly more than one week after U.S. President Joe Biden's inauguration took place under historically tight security, and three weeks after the January 6 siege of the Capitol by supporters of former President Donald Trump.

The group held a similar march in Washington last year in which they received an escort from Washington police on bicycles as they marched to the Capitol.

Police statement

Asked about Friday's march, the Washington Metropolitan Police Department issued a statement saying it had been alerted that the demonstration was going to take place and issued notifications regarding possible road closures or traffic issues.

The statement said there were no arrests made in connection with the march, and added: "Also, the Metropolitan Police Department does not act in the capacity of private security for any group."

The Southern Poverty Law Center describes the Patriot Front as a white nationalist group that broke off from a similar organization, Vanguard America, in the aftermath of the deadly "Unite the Right" rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.

At that rally, self-described neo-Nazi James Fields drove his car into a group of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison in 2018.

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