Highlander Center Set Ablaze, Foul Play Suspected

By Free Radical

A fire destroyed the HIghlander Center main office last Friday. A "white power" symbol was discvered nearby.

A fire destroyed the Highlander Center main office last Friday. A “white power” symbol was discovered nearby.

Early Friday morning, March 29, the main office of the Highlander Center, once a training ground for civil rights icons, was engulfed in flames.  The building located in New Market, Tennessee was totally destroyed. Whereas there was no initial cause of the fire, on Tuesday it was reported that a “white power” symbol was found at the burned remains of the main office.’

In a press release, the Highlander Center expressed, “While we don’t know the names of the culprits, we know that the white power movement has been increasing and consolidating power across the South, across this nation, and globally.”

Though no one was hurt in the blaze, important historic documents and memorabilia have yet to be recovered and were likely destroyed.

Founded in 1932, the Highlander Center trained a number of labor and anti-racist leaders in effective protest strategies. It hosted such luminaries as Martin Luther King Jr., Ella Baker, Septima Clark, and Rosa Parks.

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office has opened an investigation to the fire and if the symbol has “any affiliation to any individual or group.”

Yet the Highlander staff has remained vigilant in the face of violence. In its press release, it stated, “Now is not the time to dismiss how scary things are, which makes it even more important to have concrete assessments of concrete conditions, and sophisticated strategies to build a new world.”

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