BREAKING: White nationalists march in to Shelbyville chanting "Closed borders, white nation, now we start the deportation." pic.twitter.com/0KeuEKCIQv
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) October 28, 2017
Hey where have I heard this exact policy solution before? https://t.co/MO75LuxFlQ
— Michael Cohen (@speechboy71) October 28, 2017
Local reporter Natalie Allison has a whole bunch of short clips from the rally in her Twitter feed. And a nicely observed story in the Tennessean:
… 9:20 a.m. Shelbyville: About 40 minutes before protest was set to begin, more than 50 counter-protesters were waiting to get through a security checkpoint.
A woman is dressed like the statute of liberty. One young man has an “Antifa” flag, the sign for a movement of anti-Fascist, far-left protest groups, draped around him.
There were no signs of white nationalists yet…
10 a.m. Shelbyville: Chad Bagwell, 30, of Centre, Ala. was among the first to arrive on the white nationalists’ side. When he got there at 9:30, the convoy of other protesters hadn’t arrived and police weren’t letting him in to the protest area.
Bagwell held an American flag and was wearing a red Make America Great Again hat. He said he planned to bring a Confederate flag, as well, but forgot it.
He said he learned about the rally through a friend on a social networking website. His friend thought he might enjoy attending the White Lives Matter rally, Centre said, which he understood to be about refugee resettlement.
He drove two hours to attend Saturday’s protest.
“I don’t have nothing against refugees, but I do think they need stricter vetting for it,” Bagwell said…
10:05 a.m. Shelbyville: The first members of the League of the South, a white nationalist group that helped organize the White Lives Matter rally, have arrived and are making their way through security…
11:20 a.m. Shelbyville: At least 160 white nationalists have come to the Shelbyville rally. More than 300 counterprotesters are there…
No joke: one of the speakers just complained ppl get “triggered” when he uses the n-word. Next speaker complained about black history month https://t.co/zi072jKKKY
— Wesley Lowery (@WesleyLowery) October 28, 2017
Wesley Lowery, for the Washington Post:
… Local residents and leaders spent most of the week anxiously wondering how many would travel the rural highway that snakes south from Nashville over Christmas Creek into Shelbyville for a “White Lives Matter” rally planned by several national white supremacist groups.
Such rallies have turned violent, even deadly, in recent months, sparking fears that the Shelbyville gathering could as well. Once the white supremacists showed up — the rally started about an hour late — there was yelling, but no violence.
Rally organizers had anticipated about 175 people, while Tennessee’s racial justice and liberal groups were unsure of how many of their members would attend. Ultimately it appeared that about 300 people attended — about 100 “White Lives Matter” attendees and twice as many counterprotesters…
Organizers included the National Socialist Movement, a neo-Nazi group; the Traditionalist Worker Party, which wants a separate white ethno-state; Anti-Communist Action, a right-wing group that believes America is being threatened by communists; and Vanguard America, a white supremacist group that believes America is inherently a white nation that must be preserved. This rally, they said, was specifically about immigration and refugee policies.
The plan was for speakers to address the assembled white supremacists, some of whom carried shields and Confederate flags, before the group would depart to nearby Murfreesboro for another rally.
At moments, the rally speakers spouted verbose diatribes about a “genocide” they claim is being perpetrated against “the white race” and “white Southern culture.” At other times, the speeches seemed to be a grab-bag of talking points. One speaker complained that black Americans often say the n-word, but when he does, people are offended. The speaker after him railed against Black History Month…
Promptly at 1 p.m., the assembled ralliers bowed their heads in prayer and, after being told that boxed lunches were available on the bus, departed.
In Murfreesboro, about 20 minutes away, a second set of counterprotesters lined the roadway, ready to challenge attendees of the second rally. But the rally didn’t happen; the bus of white supremacists never showed up…
That's a fine display of middle aged bearded manhood and ill-tempered cosplayers. https://t.co/pRnXEYy89I
— Josh Marshall (@joshtpm) October 28, 2017
White nationalists chant Nazi Germany slogan "Blood and soil" in Shelbyville. Led by Brian Culpepper of National Socialist Movement. pic.twitter.com/DPGA2aOxCZ
— Natalie Allison (@natalie_allison) October 28, 2017
Guy heckling the Nazis: "You lost WWII. You lost the battle of ideas. You are the Cleveland Browns of political movements." https://t.co/A1aMVbmv29
— Tommy Vietor (@TVietor08) October 28, 2017
Counterprotesters play "La Bamba" while "White Lives Matter" rally leader Michael Hill speaks pic.twitter.com/8epfUVLzba
— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 28, 2017
… but the second Nazi rally “got cancelled”… per Natalie Allison, again:
… 1:31 p.m. Murfreesboro: After marching down Veterans Parkway, about 350 people gathered on a sidewalk on Church Street south of the parkway. As the group descended on the heavily trafficked area, employees at a Walgreens located at the intersection could be seen taking photos of the crowd from the doorway of the store.
Chants of “show me what democracy looks like, this is what democracy looks like” and “Murfreesboro loves,” the group ignored the chilly air while awaiting the caravan of white nationalists who are expected to head through on their way to the downtown square. Car honks and even an occasional horn from a semi truck could be heard as the crowd awaited the caravan…
2:20 p.m. Murfreesboro: The White Lives Matter rally in Murfreesboro is underway. City officials said as many as 500 people were in the downtown square.
White nationalists and counterprotesters are on opposite sides of the square. Fencing has been set up to keep the groups separate, and police are stationed in the 15-foot gap between the groups.
There are only about 15 white nationalists, but both sides are screaming and chanting at one another — and police have cautioned both sides to temper their shouting.
Counterprotesters have chanted “Nazis go home” and “shame” at the white nationalists…
3:20 p.m. Murfreesboro: The spokesman for the League of the South offered two explanations for canceling the Murfreesboro rally. On Twitter, he said long security lines in Shelbyville delayed the group. He also accused Murfreesboro of being a “lawsuit trap.”…
Poor fragile manbabies. It’s just no fun without the cover of darkness and / or the element of surprise.
When you’re a serious person pic.twitter.com/JrBUu5aHH3
— Patrick Monahan (@pattymo) October 28, 2017
Along the road in Tennessee, miles outside of town, counter-protesters heckle the new-Nazis as they drive. "Refugees are welcome here!" pic.twitter.com/OLPDTVw0Ky
— Jack Smith IV (@JackSmithIV) October 28, 2017
40 photogs circling family who prodded their yng son to give Nazi salute. I’m gonna take a pass #WhiteNationalistRally
— Christian Boone (@ReporterJCB) October 28, 2017