|Screenshot from Fox 13 video report|
The March 30th, 2013 White civil rights rally against the re-naming of three parks in Memphis has just been concluded, and a preliminary video report from Matt Gerien on Fox 13 Memphis is now available on their Facebook page. Gerien says police told him that 61 White civil rights activists, mostly from Klan organizations, were bussed in and showed up at the Shelby County Courthouse; attendance may have been held down by a forecast of rain, which did materialize. Another source, the Memphis Flyer, claims 75 White patriots were present. They started around 2:00 P.M., a half-hour later than expected, and wound things up by 3:20 P.M. Comments appended by others indicate their bullhorns might not have been working; police say the batteries for their bullhorn may have died. Although 1,200 people passed through the security checkpoint at the perimeter of the restricted area cordoned off for the rally, many of the people did not stay long because of the rain, and the number of counterprotesters inside the protest area at any one time only maxed out at around 400. Update April 7th: The National Socialist Movement has published their official after-action report and confirm that 75 White patriots were present.
According to the SPLC, some ARA activists showed up to stir up trouble, but wussed out when they saw the massive police presence. Jerry Bellow, a member of Anti-Racist Action for 20 years who drove to Memphis from Ohio, said he did not think it wise to go into the fenced in protest area. “I’ve been to about 500 of these,” Bellow said. “Back in the ’90s, the Klan would send into the protest pen bikers they were friendly with and they start trouble. I’ll give it to them, they could take a punch. But we were the ones who got arrested. It’s a trap.” The Daily Mail has some good photos. Screenshot from WREG photo gallery below:
|Screenshot from WREG photo gallery|
The Memphis Commercial Appeal contains many more photos and an expanded story. Although the Loyal White Knights were leading the rally, other organizations identified by name include the Northern Mississippi White Knights, Aryan Nations, and the Sadistic Souls Motorcycle Club. The National Socialist Movement had pledged to send supporters; the screenshot shows a couple of NSM flags and the Memphis Daily News confirms that NSM cadre were present. One antifa was denied entry to the protest and escorted from the security checkpoint by authorities. No official reason was given, though the man said deputies took issue with a shirt he was wearing. The shirt had a picture of urban activist Huey P. Newton and a quote from him reading, "You can the jail the revolutionary, but you can't jail the revolution." Plainclothes officers within the protest area also removed at least two people during the demonstration, to include one man jeering at officers, and a teenage boy with a Confederate flag draped over him.
There's now a discussion thread on Stormfront.