A planned national socialist rally from a group that bills itself as "America's premier white civil rights organization" has reportedly been canceled.
The Wisconsin branch of the National Socialist Movement, which is based in Michigan but has units across the U.S., had been planning a gathering at Eau Claire's Phoenix Park for Sept. 16, according to a now-deleted social media post, the Post-Crescent reported.
It was advertised as a "BBQ meet-and-greet," the news organization said.
Since then there's been a bubbling of concern from groups like the UW-Eau Claire College Democrats. They organized a peaceful counter-protest and picnic for the same day in the same location.
Brandon Buchanan, a Democrat on the Eau Claire County Board, also called out the rally, writing on Facebook he wishes he "did not understand why they think their hate and evil will find a home in Eau Claire."
But now the gathering has been canceled.
Cory Klicko, who was a spokesperson for the Wisconsin unit of the the National Socialist Movement (aka NSM) but has since cut all ties with the group, told WEAU the meeting's been called off.
"I do not believe any person on this earth is superior or inferior than others based on race or religion," he added.
Stephen Nick, the Eau Claire city attorney, told the Leader-Telegram he's pleased with the cancellation.
Some members of the National Socialist Movement were on-hand during the Charlottesville protests. NSM leader Jeff Schoep called the death of Heather Heyer "unfortunate," The Associated Press reported, but described the rally as "really good" and blamed the violence on counter-protesters and poor police presence.
The Washington Post, citing the Southern Poverty Law Center, says the NSM goes back to 1959 with roots in the American Nazi Party.
Other rallies have been canceled too
Other rallies that were meant to attract members of the "alt-right" and other racist groups have been canceled too.
ACT for America – which has been called the largest anti-Muslim group in the country –had 67 "America First" rallies planned in 36 states for September, but the group is replacing those with a "Day of ACTion" that'll be held online, a news release says.
Newsweek and GQ say this comes days after a "free speech" rally of white supremacists in Boston was met by tens of thousands of counter protesters.
However, ACT for America did not say its rallies were canceled after what happened in Boston, just that it was canceling them due to recent violence in the U.S. and Europe.
ACT for America says it is "deeply saddened that in today's divisive climate, citizens cannot peacefully express their opinion without risk of physical harm from terror groups."