Shelbyville City Council condemns hate groups ahead of 'White Lives Matter' rally
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WZTV) —
Weeks ahead of a white nationalist rally, Shelbyville City Council voted unanimously on Thursday to condemn hate groups.
Shelbvyville neighbors called on the city council to back them up with a resolution condemning hate groups. Word has spread quickly about the October 28 rally planned on Lane Parkway and Highway 231 in Shelbyville.
"I don't think it should be a problem as long as they don't try to bring violence into it, but there are a lot of people around Shelbyville that are scared," Jayla Booker said. "They're scared."
Before the white nationalists arrive, County Democratic Party Leader Sharon Edwards hopes to get another message posted in windows of local businesses.
"That's what we have tried to focus exclusively on is getting the businesses to have some sort of visual so that everybody coming to town can see that we do not support the ideology of white supremacy," Edwards said. "This stands against our values as a community."
While many people disagree with the groups beliefs, they support their right to free speech.
"We have freedom to say what we think," said Resident Linda Vestreese said. "I would hope that they would be respectful and be able to voice what they feel."
"If we're practicing diversity, then we can't exclude certain group of people because a certain belief," Business Owner, Issac Knott said. "So we afford them the opportunity to express themselves in a free country."
"I don't agree with the white supremacy aspect," said Johnny, a resident who didn't want to give his last name. "I don't agree with it, but I agree that all life matters and everybody matters so everybody should have an opinion. Long as it can be done peacefully and everybody can get along, why not."
Edwards said more than 500 people signed a petition urging the city council to pass a resolution making it clear Shelbyville rejects this and other hate groups.
"I feel like people in leadership here need to decide are they going to let these white male Christians be there voice," Edwards said. "Where are they going to oppose them?"
Read the full resolution below or here on mobile.