Organizers of resistance rally plan for it to be peaceful
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. (WDEF) — People in Chattanooga are holding a rally on Thursday to show they won’t tolerate white supremacy.
Kayla Harris is one of the organizers of a rally called Declaration of Resistance: Solidarity with Charlottesville. It will be held in Coolidge Park on Thursday.
“The purpose was to show the counter protesters at Charlottesville that there are people on their side and the other counter protesters that are going to these other states,” Harris said.
She says there will be speakers, chants and singing. She adds it will be peaceful.
“It was never our intention to have people bring weapons,” Harris said.
Someone posted about the rally on Reddit. In the post it states, for people who have concealed carry permits to bring their guns. Harris says this incites violence and was was not posted by an organizer.
“It was someone else and we in no way encouraged them to write that post or incite violence in any way. That post that they created was very unwelcoming and really encouraged violence,” she said.
The post has since been removed.
“So we’ve talked to them about what we want this rally to be and what we don’t want it to be and I think they understand.”
Mayor Andy Berke says he was disgusted with the violence in Charlottesville.
“I think Chattanooga stands with the people of Charlottesville and condemns the white supremacy movement,” Mayor Berke said.
He says they are prepared if something like that were to happen in Chattanooga.
“We have safety plans that are put in place in any of those types of situations. It has happened before and we will make sure it happens again,” Mayor Berke said.
As for this rally, Harris says it will be a welcoming place for people to gather.
“We all are just going to come together and hopefully have a good time without any violence occurring.”
The rally is scheduled for Thursday at 7:30pm in Coolidge Park.