White Lives Matter Rally in Shelbyville, Tennessee on October 28th 2017
My time at the rally was amazing and I was very sad to leave. It was a successful, non violent and productive rally. Some may differ, there is a good amount of controversy over whether any of it was even worth it. And seeing as to there being no “juicy” violence for the media to report, they actually were using photos from Charlottesville in their articles as click bait. But beyond the rally itself, meeting new people and making new friendships, to me, is just as productive as getting out our message. Here’s my recap of a lovely weekend in the south!
Most of us arrived Friday and since there was a few different groups people were scattered throughout the city and outskirts for lodging. The main host groups had areas where they stayed together. I met up prior with a sister from Texas and we went to our lodging where we were met with southern hospitality and kinship of the highest. We had a wonderful dinner (southern smoked pork) and off to bed we went to be prepared for the next day.
Saturday was very cold, and coming off an Indian summer even a northerner like myself found it to be extremely chilly. I was prepared for such, but I couldn’t help but chuckle at the southern boys who were freezing because to them 41 degrees felt like -23! We all met at a parking lot prior and we followed the caravan of vehicles to our rally point. As soon as we pulled into the town center to “our” parking area (even the parking areas were kept separate from Antifa) I noticed something interesting as we turned the corner…snipers…. and they were everywhere, all around the parking lot, the street to the first checkpoint, second checkpoint and the rally point.
We got together and Michael Hill of The League of the South said a beautiful speech and we got in formation.
There was already media swarming everywhere. We marched down the street and around the corner to the first checkpoint. This rally was so heavily policed some would say it was tyrannical. They were so concerned with Charlottesville type rally happening they went overboard with the security. They had the streets closed down to all car and walking traffic. It literally was Antifa penned on once side of the road and us on the other. I was thankful in a way because I just do not believe us going head to head against Antifa, again, was productive as far as getting our message out and the point of this rally. They had a VERY specific list of prohibited items. Every single person had to empty their pockets, get scanned by a metal detector wand and patted down. It took an HOUR AND A HALF to get through this checkpoint, which was deducted from our allocated rally time. But once again, we got in formation and marched onward, only to be stopped BY ANOTHER CHECKPOINT! This one was a quick wand and went much faster.
The purpose of this rally was 3 fold. First, it was to bring to light the resettlement that had been happening with Sudan refugees in Middle Tennessee and the forced integration that has come with it. Second, the Sudan refugee that went into the Burnette Chapel Church of Christ opened fire killing one woman and injuring at least 7 others. This incident got some local media attention but near to none national attention. This was a black on white crime that alas no one knows about. And the third reason behind the rally was to move forward after the chaos of Charlottesville and prove that a rally in a “friendlier” territory would not be a mess
We were met with the usual chants and heckling that Antifa dishes out. At one point the big mouth on the megaphone on the opposition side bellowed “Nazis, where are your women?” to which our side responded “We don’t use our women as shields! We honor and protect our women!”. The oppositions side versus our side was not too uneven to my surprise. We had some excellent speeches from Matthew Heimbach of the Traditionalist Workers Party, Dr. Michael Hill of The League of the South, Jeff Schoep of the National Socialist Movement and Scott Lacey gave a speech geared toward us, not Antifa, about unity.
We had said our peace, yelled back at Antifa, stopped one crazy guy from hopping over the fence, of which police arrested quickly and marched back to our vehicles. Afterward we all met at the Henry Horton State Park where we had a lovely lunch together and were able to socialize and meet one another. The original plan was to have a quick lunch and head over to the second planned rally in Murfreesboro. However, it was discovered that Murfreesboro was going to be a lawsuit trap. Antifa had been either part of it or knew about it because there were a lot of Antifa that went there instead of Murfreesboro and that left Shelbyville early to go over there. They of course, and the media, thought we were “scared off”. We were smart and knew it was not going to be productive. They wanted another Charlottesville and the town of Murfreesboro was just looking for a reason to crucify us. So it was a wise decision made by the rally organizers that it would not be worth it. So they said the hell with it, we accomplished what we needed to, our message got out via the media and without violence.
The luncheon was lovely. It was so nice to meet people that i’ve only known online for years. And this is part of what its about. Being able to hug and talk to the ones we call brother or sister. The highlight of the luncheon is when Matthew Heimbach announced that Jacob Goodwin’s parents were there and they had a message from Jacob to all of us. Jacob’s mother made a lovely speech about how she would stand by her son through all of this because she believed in our message and believed in her son. They then asked everyone to donate towards Jacob’s legal fund. Jacob is currently being held in a detention center in Arkansas waiting to be extradited to Virginia for his alleged involvement in the DeAndre Harris beating during the Charlottesville rally. We were at the park for nearly two hours before the news and local police and fire departments Twitter accounts gave away our location and Antifa was on their way. They were just so hungry for violence that they were going to “throw us out” of the state park. And once the local police got wind that Antifa were coming they hauled ass over to the park. Over 20 police vehicles showed up to keep peace. Nothing happened, we dispersed and were able to carry out the rest of our evening without violence or trouble from the opposition. We went back to our areas of lodging and enjoyed a night of friendship and crashing out early after a long cold day. The weekend was a success in my opinion and the opinion of many others. The friendships I made i’m forever thankful for and definatley enhanced my enjoyment of the rally.