It was impossible to ignore. The latest rally on Nashville’s War Memorial Plaza — this time to recognize Juneteenth and the final emancipation of all slaves — attracted a predominantly white audience.
Protests have continued across the nation and around the world for a third straight week following the death of George Floyd on May 25.
Tennessee is sending about 1,000 National Guardsmen to Washington, D.C., to assist in the protests. The nation’s capital has seen rioting as well as peaceful demonstrations against police brutality.
Impassioned speeches against systemic racism were given Monday afternoon in the Tennessee House of Representatives. Members of the Black Caucus pleaded their cause to their colleagues, two days after a peaceful rally downtown turned violent.
“Put your shields down.” Those were the words that over a hundred demonstrators chanted Monday night on the steps of the Capitol, as part of the Vigil for Black Lives.
The Murfreesboro Police Department says it was trying to disperse a crowd that had blocked an intersection. A building and an armored vehicle were vandalized, and two people were arrested for violating an emergency curfew order.
A peaceful “I Will Breathe” rally, which drew thousands of people at War Memorial Plaza, eventually turned destructive as the hours wore on Saturday. Pockets of protesters smashed cars and police used tear gas to disperse some who vandalized Nashville’s City Hall. Police say the area was mostly cleared by about 10:45 p.m.