Wesley Lowery Crowds of protesters began gathering at 8 a.m. on a cold, cloudy Saturday morning. They’d come to see Nazis. But, but two hours later, there were still no Nazis.
Around 10:30 a.m., one of the organizers of the counterprotest grabbed a microphone and began taunting the handful of rallygoers who had just shown up across the street.
Local residents and leaders spent most of the week anxiously wondering how many would travel the rural highway that snakes south from Nashville over Christmas Creek into Shelbyville for a “White Lives Matter” rally planned by several national white supremacist groups.
Rally organizers had anticipated about 175 people, while Tennessee’s racial justice and liberal groups were unsure of how many of their members would attend. Ultimately it appeared that about 300 people attended – about 100 “White Lives Matter” attendees and twice as many counterprotesters.
In Murfreesboro, about 20 minutes away, a second set of counterprotesters lined the roadway, ready to challenge attendees of the second rally. But the rally didn’t happen; the bus of white supremacists never showed up.
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