Neo-Nazis were forced to cancel a ‘White Lives Matter’ rally after they were outnumbered and taunted by counter-protesters in Tennessee.
A group of 300 white supremacists gathered in Shelbyville on Saturday afternoon to protest the increase in the number of refugees living in the area.
The event was organized by many of the people who were involved in the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, earlier this summer, that descended into violence.
But between 800 and 1,000 demonstrators confronted them in the street, in front of a heavy police presence, and put a stop to a second planned event in Murfreesboro just a few hours later.
The two cities are just southeast of Nashville, where there has been an increase in refugees from Somalia, Iraq and other countries.
One man was arrested during the rally after he was deemed a threat for displaying erratic behavior during a White Lives Matter Rally that took place Saturday.
John Gill Anderson, 20, was charged with disorderly conduct stemming from the event in Shelbyville on U.S. Highway 231 and Lane Parkway around 12:30 p.m.
Shelbyville police Lt. Brian Crews, who stood in for the rally, said the man ‘refused to cease and desist when told,’ leading to his temporary custody, according to the Tennessean.
Police in Tennessee arrested a man after he was deemed a threat for displaying erratic behavior during a White Lives Matter Rally that took place Saturday
John Gill Anderson, 20, was charged with disorderly conduct stemming from the event in Shelbyville located on U.S. Highway 231 and Lane Parkway around 12:30 p.m.
Anderson (seen being led away center) insisted he was one of the counter protesters in an interview after his arrest
White Lives Matter protesters demonstrate during the rally on October 28, 2017 in Shelbyville, Tennessee
White Supremacists hold Confederate flags during a rally in Mufreesboro, Tennessee, that was eventually cancelled
Aside from the arrest, authorities said there were no violent incidents and ‘everything went lovely,’ Crews confirmed in the interview with the local newspaper.
‘As far as we know everything is over. We’re taking down our fences,’ the officer added.
Also Saturday afternoon, another white nationalist rally took place in the city of Murfreesboro – about 25 miles north of Shelbyville.
The demonstrators chanted and marched on Veterans Parkway and Church Street south.
Counter-protesters chanted things like ‘show me what democracy looks like! This is what democracy looks like!’ and ‘Murfreesboro loves,’ the Tennessean reported.
The rally created a ruckus for travelers in the area, too – who were heard honking their car horns and shouting along.
A protester is seen shouting into the microphone during the Shelbyville rally where hundreds of protesters and counter-protesters gathered
People hold a sign that reads ‘100% socialist, 100% nationalist’ while standing on the streets
Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam said state and local law enforcement officials were ‘in full force’ for the two white nationalist rallies
Protesters are shown arriving to the White Lives Matter rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee Saturday morning
The Shelbyville and Murfreesboro rallies were hosted by Nationalist Front, which is a coalition of several white supremacist organizations
Counter-protesters line the street across from a White Lives Matter rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee
As of Saturday afternoon, authorities said no violent incidents took place at either rally
Counter protesters scream at White Lives Matter protesters during a rally in Murfreesboro, Tennessee
Organizers ordered both protesters and counter-protesters to stay on separate sides of the street for precautionary purposes.
Murfreesboro resident Sherry Walker, 57, burned sage as she trotted through the controversial rally.
‘The smoke is lifting our prayers to heaven … ‘It’s for cleansing and healing and peace,’ Walker said at the event.
Brad Griffin, who assisted in organizing the Shelbyville rally, said the event lasted for three hours from 10am to 1pm.
The Murfeesboro rally kicked off in the afternoon will likely continue through the evening.
The White Lives Matter protests were hosted by organizations involved in the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia attacks.
Organizers ordered both protesters and counter-protesters to stay on separate sides of the street for precautionary purposes
The number of counter-protesters in attendance to the events was greater than the number of protesters