breaking news

Invest Atlanta to review $40k check for ex-mayor Reed’s So. Africa trip

White nationalists in Tennessee overwhelmed by police, protesters


Fears of another Charlottesville were quickly tamped down Saturday after a coalition of white nationalist groups — outnumbered by counter-protesters and tightly choreographed by law enforcement — canceled the second of two rallies scheduled in central Tennessee.

About 200 people representing the Nationalist Front — the same group of white supremacists that sponsored the “Unite the Right” protest in Charlottesville that descended into violence nearly three months ago — gathered in Shelbyville Saturday morning. This time they were uniting to protest refugee resettlement in Tennessee by bringing attention, they said, to a church shooting in nearby Antioch last month by a 25-year-old man who came to the U.S. from Sudan as a child. One person was killed and at least seven others injured in the Antioch shooting, which the Nationalist Front said was given scant attention by the media.

There would be no such complaints about Saturday’s heavily covered protests, though the visuals could not have pleased the white nationalists. Quarantined to one street corner in Shelbyville, a town of about 21,000 located an hour south of Nashville, their message was often drowned out by about 400 counter-demonstrators, who greeted their chants of “Blood and Soil” and “White Lives Matter” with derisive taunts and loud music from the likes of Bob Marley.

“All you people over there — your day is coming,” warned Michael Hill, president of the League of the South, one of the groups behind Saturday’s protest. “You’re responsible for more damage in the past century than anybody else.”

Barely audible over the counter-protesters, Hill said, “We are here to stake a claim to that which belongs to us. We will not give up until we won this fight.”

An hour later, Hunter Wallace, identifying himself as the public relations chief for the League of the South, tweeted that the second protest, to be held about 20 miles away in Murfreesboro, was “not worth the risk.”

About 600 protesters who were waiting for them there, and when news of the cancellation spread they cheered the news with chants of “This is what democracy looks like” and “Murfreesboro loves.”

“I have to stand up against evil,” said Ione Smith, who drove 40 miles from Lebanon, Tenn. to protest the white nationalists. “We’re the Volunteer state for a reason. We’re friendly. We accept people.”

In both Shelbyville and Murfreesboro, law enforcement enacted strict measures, making everyone who entered their town squares go through a security checkpoint. Everything from guns to cigarette lighters to selfie sticks were prohibited.

The clampdown worked, with no reports of violence and only one arrest, in Shelbyville.

In Murfreesboro, about a dozen people showed up in to protest along with the white nationalists, apparently unaware the event was canceled.

“We’re here to expose the bias of the national media against reporting black on white crime,” said Calvin Tate, 28, of Murfreesboro. “This isn’t about white supremacy it’s about exercising our First Amendment rights.”

A few feet away, a family, with children as young as 6 years old, posed for cameras with Nazi salutes.

“We are the supreme race,” said Michael Clement, a white man from Shelbyville. “Just because we have people against us we shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for what we believe in.”



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Invest Atlanta to review $40k check for ex-mayor Reed’s So. Africa trip
Invest Atlanta to review $40k check for ex-mayor Reed’s So. Africa trip

After an hour behind closed doors in an executive session, the Invest Atlanta board voted unanimously to create an ad hoc committee to perform an independent review of a $40,000 transaction between the city and its nonprofit fundraising arm, Partners For Prosperity. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution previously reported that Atlanta City Council in December...
North Fulton city considers ban on unattended tethering of dogs
North Fulton city considers ban on unattended tethering of dogs

It soon may be illegal to leave your unattended dog chained or tethered to a tree or other object — even in your own yard — in one city in north Fulton County. Leaders in Roswell are considering an amendment to the city’s animal cruelty ordinance that would ban the unattended tethering of dogs. A first reading of the ordinance...
DA: ‘No apparent motive’ for Gwinnett man who killed dad’s friends
DA: ‘No apparent motive’ for Gwinnett man who killed dad’s friends

A Duluth man had “no apparent motive” for walking into his father’s garage and shooting two of his father’s friends in the head, the Gwinnett County District Attorney’s Office said. Davon Jones was convicted of two counts of felony murder, one count of malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault and two counts...
Tech freshman says he would’ve spent Jeopardy! winnings on Taco Bell
Tech freshman says he would’ve spent Jeopardy! winnings on Taco Bell

A Georgia Institute of Technology freshman who was a semifinalist in the Jeopardy! College Championship did not advance to the finals. But what if Rishab Jain had, and then won the grand prize of $100,000? The college student said he would’ve spent the winnings on none other than ... “a lifetime supply of Taco Bell.” Jain was recorded...
‘Shark Tank’ is holding an open casting call at The Battery this month
‘Shark Tank’ is holding an open casting call at The Battery this month

Are you an entrepreneur who likes getting yelled at by rich people? Then maybe you ought to clear your Sunday on April 29. That’s when the popular ABC show “Shark Tank” will be holding an open casting call at The Battery inside the Comcast building, 2065 Circle 75 Parkway. READ | ‘Shark Tank’s’ Daymond...
More Stories