One arrest, but otherwise things were fairly peaceful at TN ‘White Lives Matter’ rallies

A pair of white nationalist rallies in two Tennessee towns went off relatively peacefully Saturday with only one arrest, after police prepared carefully to keep demonstrators and counter demonstrators under control, reports ABC News.

One “White Lives Matter” attendee who was standing with the white nationalists was arrested during the first rally, in Shelbyville. The white male, wearing a green fleece jacket, was approached by a flurry of cops who quickly pulled him through a temporarily detached metal barricade, pinning protesters on two sides of a street. Police took the unidentified man away in a golf cart.

At the second rally, in Murfreesboro, there were no reported injuries, damage or arrests, city officials said.

At the event in Shelbyville, a group of white nationalists shouted and threw Confederate items across to the counter-protesters, who had their own message of dispelling hate.

Early on it was clear who was in control.

Attendees were met with a heavy and organized police presence. Some were required to pass through a checkpoint where they were searched as there was a strict no weapons policy enforced.

Further, from The Tennessean:

About 160 white nationalists, led by the League of the South, descended on Shelbyville to hear a series of speeches from group leaders Saturday morning. But at several points they were drowned out by more than 400 counterprotesters across the street, who sang, chanted and played Martin Luther King Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech over a loudspeaker.

… Shelbyville police arrested one man, identified as John Gill Anderson, 20, of Bell Buckle, Tenn., and charged him with disorderly conduct, according to Lt. Brian Crews. Crews said Anderson was cited for “threatening behavior.”

In an interview, Anderson said he was a counterprotester who had come into the white nationalist section of the rally in hopes of “a productive conversation or argument.”

… As the Shelbyville event drew to a midday close, attention turned to Murfreesboro, where around 600 counterprotesters had gathered in advance of the rally. A crowd of around 300 gathered on Church Street, chanting “Murfreesboro loves” and “black lives matter” while they awaited a caravan of white nationalists en route to the second rally in the downtown square.

The caravan never came.

Instead, only around 30 white nationalists came to the square. Counterprotesters overwhelmingly outnumbered them there — Murfreesboro officials said as many as 1,000 participated throughout the day across the city.

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