The New Black Panther Party, a group that Dallas shooter Micah Xavier Johnson supported, will be carrying firearms during its protest of the Republican national convention if allowed by law.
“If it is an open state to carry, we will exercise our second amendment rights because there are other groups threatening to be there that are threatening to do harm to us,” the group’s chairman, Hashim Nzinga, told Reuters.
“If that state allows us to bear arms, the Panthers and the others who can legally bear arms will bear arms,” he added while saying he condemned the attack on police in Dallas.
The Panthers will be on hand to attend the “National Convention of the Oppressed” that runs from Thursday – Monday and Nzinga told Reuters that his members will be there both to participate and protect the event.
They plan to leave before the GOP convention actually begins.
“We are there to protect … We are not trying to do anything else,” he told Reuters. “We are going to carry out some of these great legal rights we have — to assemble, to protest and (to exercise) freedom of speech.”
“I have people literally calling me saying this is the first time in my life I protested and I loved it.” he added. “They want to be a part of something. They tried to be a part of the system and the system let them down so they want to be part of a rebellion.”
Other groups, including some that support presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, said they also plan to be open carrying, Reuters reported.
The Southern Poverty Law Center lists the New Black Panther Party as a hate group.
It describes the group as “a virulently racist and anti-Semitic organization whose leaders have encouraged violence against whites, Jews and law enforcement officers.”
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