Counter-Protesters Drown Out ‘White Lives Matter’ Rallies In Tennessee

Protesters interrupted the white supremacy demonstrations with MLK's "I Have A Dream" speech and "La Bamba."

Counter-protesters met messages of exclusion with ones of love and support when demonstrations outnumbered and out-chanted the two scheduled white nationalist marches in Tennessee Saturday. In Shelbyville, Tenn., an estimated 400 protesters holding signs reading "No place for hate" and "Pizza for Peace"  stood across the street from a crowd half the size that had gathered for a "White Lives Matter" rally. When the leaders of the group tried to speak, they were reportedly drowned out by a PA system playing Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech and "La Bamba."


The rally in Shelbyville and a second in Murfreesboro were organized by the Nationalist Front, an umbrella group of white supremacist organizations, Huff Post reports. The second demonstration only saw about 15 attendees to an estimated 800-1000 counter-protesters gathered for what they called a "Murfreesboro Loves" rally and quickly dissipated. One arrest was made during the protests.

After a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville turned deadly in August, similar events have been met with close monitoring by local police and a strong rejection of white supremacist messages by those in the towns where such gatherings have been scheduled. The white nationalist rallies this weekend provoked a similar reaction by members of the Shelbyville and Murfreesboro communities on social media. 

"We want to send a really clear message that these folks are not welcome in Tennessee," Governor Bill Haslam told the Tennessean Friday. "If you're part of the white supremacist movement you're not somebody that we want in Tennessee."


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