One arrest at “White Lives Matter” rally in Tennessee
MURFREESBORO, Tenn. — White supremacists and neo-Nazis planned two rallies in Tennessee on Saturday after law enforcement officials made lengthy preparations to prevent violence between marchers and counter-protesters.
The two “White Lives Matter” marches were scheduled in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro on Saturday. Despite high tensions and insults exchanged with counter-protesters, there was no violence reported at the first rally in Shelbyville, CBS affiliate WTVF reports.
The Shelbyville rally began Saturday morning and ran until 1 p.m. local time.
Only one person was arrested as of Saturday afternoon. A male was taken into police custody after jumping a barrier in an attempt to advance toward the white supremacist rally, WTVF reports.
The second event was canceled by “White Lives Matter” protesters shortly after the first march ended. “Apparently it took so long to get through lines in Shelbyville,” WTVF journalist Matthew Torres reports.
The heavy law enforcement presence at both locations included police helicopters, K-9 units and officers armed with sniper rifles. Several large trucks were used as roadblocks to prevent vehicles from driving into crowds.
Counter-protesters were allowed to enter the public square through two designated streets. Safety checkpoints were set up to prevent protesters from bringing weapons and masks into the area.
The city of Murfreesboro estimates between 400 and 500 protesters were in attendance at the “White Lives Matter” rally.
Footage of the demonstrations on social media showed white nationalist protesters chanting “closed borders, white nation, now we start the deportation.”
The rallies were held weeks after violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, at a white nationalist rally in August. One counter-protester was killed when a manmarching through the streets.