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The controversial group ACT for America has canceled a series of "America First" rallies, including ones in Lincoln and Omaha, in response to "rising tension and violence in America."

The Nebraska rallies were among 67 such events planned in 36 states for Sept. 9.

ACT for America, which bills itself as a national security organization, is labeled an anti-Muslim hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League. 

It canceled the rallies Monday, saying "extremist and radical organizations in the United States and abroad have overrun peaceful events in order to advance their own agendas."

The announcement came two days after a so-called free speech rally in Boston was overrun by counterprotesters, and less than two weeks after a car bulldozed through counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one.

Facebook events and online information about the "America First" rallies have since been deleted.

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Assistant city editor

Zach Pluhacek is an assistant city editor.

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