White Lives Matter Protest Cancelled After Meeting Resistance
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 11/1/2017, 10:52 a.m.
White supremacists, neo-Nazis and fascists descended on a Middle Tennessee town Saturday for a “White Lives Matter” rally, striking fear into communities desperate to avoid the kind of violence that visited Charlottesville, Virginia, nearly three months ago. But it was met with a heavy police presence and resistance from counterprotesters. A second rally planned for the afternoon in the larger college town of Murfreesboro was abruptly canceled by organizers, reports the Huffington Post. An umbrella group of white supremacist organizations called the Nationalist Front held its first rally Saturday morning in Shelbyville, a town of 21,000 about an hour south of Nashville. Police stood between some 200 counterprotesters and various white supremacist factions as they exchanged chants. Some white supremacists were seen throwing up Nazi salutes, while others, carrying shields and wearing helmets, chanted “White lives matter” and “Blood and soil.” Mike Tubbs, an imposing former Green Beret who spent time in prison for plotting to bomb Black and Jewish businesses and who was responsible for violence in Charlottesville, led the hundred or so white supremacists into their designated rally area. “I’m here to defend my heritage and my people against the forces of darkness,” he told HuffPost. Counterprotesters heckled them from the other side of the street, offering free genetic testing to the so-called “master race.” Still, the sheer number of hate group supporters was jarring to the people of Middle Tennessee. “It’s kinda terrifying how organized they are. Because it’s so many different groups,” local activist Mike Cannon, 29, told HuffPost. “It’s more evidence after Charlottesville that the alt-right is a movement we need to pay attention to.” Later in the afternoon, organizer Brad Griffin ― who goes by the pen name Hunter Wallace and is a leader in League of the South ― canceled the rally scheduled for Murfreesboro, a larger college town 25 miles back toward Nashville. He said on Twitter that his fellow white supremacists have “nothing to gain.”