Anticom announces cancellation of torch rally 'in light of safety concerns'

CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - An anti-communist group that was planning on holding a torch march in uptown Charlotte in December announced Thursday that they canceled the event.

The group Anticom tweeted Thursday morning that they will "no longer be holding an event in Marshall Park." The group said the march was canceled "in light of safety concerns."

The group said the decision was "agreed upon by both organizers and guests."

A counterprotest called "Charlotte Against Racism/White Supremacy" was scheduled for Dec. 28 in Marshall Park after Anticom announced they would hold a "March Against Communism." According to the Charlotte Observer, the counterprotest has been created after people feared a repeat of violence seen at a white nationalist and white supremacist march in Charlottesville, Va

"Stay nonviolent, and we'll have a great time," Anticom said in its announcement on Facebook and Twitter.

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department retweeted Anticom and said that they were still trying to get in touch with the organization. The Deputy Chief said CMPD reached out to organizers of the "anti-communist" torch march shortly after they tracked down the social media post.

RELATED: CMPD: Still no permits issued for 'anti-communist' torch march but 'we will be prepared'

According to the Observer, Anticom has called on participants to bring torches, gear, flags and guns to the event, where speakers were scheduled to include white nationalist Richard Spencer. The group describes their mission to defend communities against "leftist terrorists and rioters," the Observer reported.

In response to the group's announcement, Spencer tweeted that he "happily agreed to speak back in the spring, when the rally was planned for a private, hotel venue."

In a series of tweets, Spencer said "open-field rallies are dangerous at this point but still possible. But we can't trust Charlotte's municipal authorities."

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Jabril Hough, who is the spokesman for the Islamic Center of Charlotte, created the counterprotest Saturday after he learned of Anticom's intentions, according to the Observer.

"We don't want Charlotte to be Charlottesville, and I think we should show a united front," Hough told the Observer on Saturday. "My intention is to call people from different backgrounds together to show a united front against racism and white supremacy."

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