There is a line in Act IV of William Shakespeare's Macbeth, as some of the 20,000 students at Middle Tennessee State are taught, that reads: "By the pricking of my thumbs / Something wicked this way comes." The professors explain that in the 16th century the “pricking of thumbs” meant an intuition of evil about to happen and every student at MTSU knows several white supremacy groups plan to stage rallies in Murfreesboro and Shelbyville this Saturday.
The two Middle Tennessee towns are known hotbeds of hate groups like the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Confederate, neo-Nazi and about three dozen more White Nationalist off-shoots. Are you kidding me, on the very soil where Tennessee Walking Horses are tortured, other evil thrives. It’s about 25 miles between the two towns and people have been warned, “Prepare like you would for a hurricane.”
A group known as “League of the South” has applied for “permits to gather” in Murfreesboro and “National Front” will organize the rally in Shelbyville. Mike Browning, a spokesman for the Murfreesboro mayor’s office, said the city is “strongly discouraging people from going to the square on Saturday.” MTSU students are being urged to leave the campus in fear of a repeat of the riots in Charlottesville, Va., in August.
Aryan graffiti is being seen on Murfreesboro buildings and some store owners are already putting plywood over their windows in fear of mayhem.
You would think Governor Haslam would issue “a menace to society” order or ban hate organizations from gathering but the First Amendment to the Constitution provides for “freedom of speech.” State and local law enforcement have been meeting regularly in the build-up to this Saturday.
Last Monday Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a “state of emergency” before white supremacist Richard Spencer spoke on Thursday. Spencer was shouted down repeatedly but shared insults with about 500 hecklers. “Say it loud, say it clear – Nazis are not welcome here.”
Spencer retorted, “This is going to be read as, ‘The University of Florida is filled with childlike Antifa who shout at people as opposed to talking to them.”
“Go home, racist! You go home.”
At one point another hate-monger in Gainesville on Thursday, identifying himself as Eli Mosely of a group called “Identity Europa,” called the hecklers “wild hyenas” but admitted, “This right here, what you are doing, is the best recruiting tool for us that you could possibly ever give us.” Mosely added the students had “been brain-washed with an anti-white agenda by their professors and the news media.”
Several counter-protests in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro are now unfolding. On Sunday many ministers asked church members to avoid the rallies and several churches scheduled special prayer events for Thursday night.
A group called “Murfreesboro Loves” is training people this week to promote “a positive, proper and safe counter-protest.” In an alternative to direct confrontation, Jason Bennett said, “We are going to be all over town. There is going to be groups of people all over the city with signs, really reaffirming who we are as a community, rather than who they are.”
* * *
SHELBYVILLE STREET CLOSURES
The following is a press release from the Town of Shelbyville:
“The City of Shelbyville on Wednesday announced updates on traffic and parking for the Oct. 28 rallies.
"As public safety preparations continue by the City of Shelbyville Administration and Police Department regarding a planned demonstration scheduled for Saturday, October 28, 2017, citizens and visitors should expect traffic and parking impacts.
"The City of Shelbyville was contacted by Michael Hill, representative of League of the South earlier this month that the group plans to hold a sidewalk rally from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Saturday October 28th. Portions of Lane Parkway and North Cannon Blvd. will be closed before and during the rally. Specific times of road closures will be forthcoming, but the public needs to be aware that closures could occur Friday evening October 27, 2017.
"Lane Parkway will be closed from the intersection of West Lane Street and Regent Drive to the North Main Street intersection of Lane Parkway. North Cannon Blvd. will be closed from the intersection of North Main Street to Holland Street. Signage will be posted and citizens and visitors should expect alternate routes.
"Parking for counter-protestors has been designated for Thomas Magnet School, 518 Tate Avenue and the former site of Harris Middle School, 400 Elm Street, Shelbyville, Tennessee. Surrounding private businesses including Big Springs Shopping Center have indicated parking is reserved for customers only and all others will be towed at the owner's expense."
* * *
FROM THE SHELBYVILLE TIMES-GAZETTE: “Detective Lt. Brian Crews declined comment this morning when asked where League of the South members and groups joining them would be parking.
"Protesters are being routed to a specific area away from counter-protesters in an attempt to keep the parties separated as best as possible," Crews said.
The city is asking protesters to stay on course in route to the protest.
"Protestors are advised to remain on sidewalks to and from their designated parking area," the press release says. "Parking will not be allowed on city streets in the area surrounding the sidewalk rally and areas affected by street closures.
"This parking restriction will be strictly enforced beginning at 6:00 p.m. on Friday, October 27, 2017. Any vehicles in violation will be towed at the owner's expense. All Shelbyville Housing Authority residents are advised to park in their designated driveways."
* * *
“You cannot shake hands with a clenched fist.” -- Golda Meir