Sunday, May 27, 2007

Initial After-Action Roundup On May 26th Christian-Newsom Memorial Rally In Knoxville

An estimated 75-100 people showed up in Knoxville on Saturday May 26th, 2007 to protest the murders of Channon Christian and Christopher Newsom. Two protestors, Vanguard News Network editor Alex Linder and longtime white nationalist activist Todd Van Biber, were arrested. This post combines and summarizes mainstream media reports from WVLT Channel 8, WBIR Channel 10, and WATE Channel 6 (all in Knoxville) with several reports posted throughout the Vanguard News Network Forum by rally participants. A brief report is also posted on the Libertarian Socialist News website.

Click HERE to view YouTube video of the rally.

The murders of Channon Christian and her boyfriend Christopher Newsom were cited for the reason for what the mainstream media called a "white supremacist" protest this afternoon in downtown Knoxville. The rally took place outside of the Old Knoxville Courthouse from 3:00 P.M. until 4:00 P.M., alleging the murder of the two was racially motivated. Even though all of the suspects of the crime are black and the two victims are white, the Knoxville Police Department insists that the crime was not race-related.

However, before the rally kicked off in earnest, Vanguard News Network editor and rally organizer Alex Linder was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, resisting arrest, assault, and vandalism. Linder refused to enter through the designated checkpoint, entered the "control area" established down the middle of Main Street to keep ralliers and counter-protestors separate, reportedly refused to leave, and was subsequently arrested with what some witnesses characterized as excessive force (see photo at left). Some eyewitnesses claim Linder was bleeding from his mouth or nose after the cops tossed him to the ground like a sack of potatoes. He was being held on $4,500 bail at the Knox County Detention Facility (the same facility where the Christian-Newsom killers are currently being held), but arrangments for his release were continuing as of post time. And, despite a previously bittersweet political relationship between himself and Linder, American National Socialist Workers Party (ANSWP) Commander Bill White publicly offered to make Linder's bail.

Note 1: As of May 31st, Alex Linder has been bailed out and is now back home. He will be arraigned in Knoxville on June 4th. Monitor the Vanguard News Network for more details.

Todd Van Biber was arrested later on for running a red light and not wearing a seat belt, but after being questioned, was released.

Fortunately, as the protestors shouted "Always remember Channon and Christopher!", popular and provocative white nationalist radio host Hal Turner, who operates a news analysis website based in North Bergen, NJ, and is internationally renowned for his "rich commentary and brutal satire", stepped into the breach and delivered a speech. "I came down here to say no to savage black crime!" said Turner. "Nothing can help the dead people, but it can alert the white people out there that there are terrible savages here in the city and that they have to be a little more racially aware."

Later on, Turner stated, "If the families had educated their children to be more racially conscious, maybe their kids would be alive." In response to the fact that both the Christian and Newsom families have disavowed the rally, claiming their troubles are not the business of the pro-white movement, Turner diplomatically responded, "The family's free to do what they feel is right, and so are we."

Approximately 100 counter-protesters also attended the event, but as you can see in the first photo in the upper left, most were a bunch of goofs simply out to vent their spleens. Their interaction consisted primarily of idiotic catcalls such as "You don't even have the courage to wear your Nazi uniforms anymore!", and "You're a member of the master race! Speak louder please!". However, Knoxville attorney Chris Irwin was more serious-minded. "We wanted to send a clear message to our town that these people are not acceptable, they never were and never will be," said Irwin.

Three hundred law enforcement officers, primarily Knoxville Police Department officers augmented by Knox County sheriff's deputies and Tennessee Highway Patrol officers, kept a close eye on the situation, dividing the two groups down Main Street with a line of riot-gear ready officers.

While WATE-TV claimed only 30 protestors showed up, experienced observers on the ground counted anywhere from 75-100 protestors (the number was constantly changing as participants entered and departed the area). It is traditional for the establishment media to underestimated the number of participants at a pro-white rally due to ingrained institutional bias against white nationalism in America.

The anarchist anti-racist group One People's Project, who champions the cause of stone-cop killer Mumia Abu-Jamal, has posted their own spin on their website. OPP's more respectable-appearing front group, Citizens Against Hate, also weighs in as their co-director Nicole Nichols discusses this story on her blog.

For more still photos on the rally, visit the Aryan Barbarian's blog.

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