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Democrat Nashville Mayor John Cooper apparently thought it was a good idea to promote a peaceful “I Will Breathe” rally at the state capitol’s Legislative Plaza yesterday. Violent protesters had other ideas, and social distancing wasn’t one of them.
In a memo to his colleagues on the city council, the mayor explained that the purpose of the event in downtown Nashville that he was attending was to provide a forum for African-Americans to “speak out against the senseless killing of George Floyd and the deep-seated issues of racial injustice in our country.”
I urge all of my colleagues in the Metro Council to join me at today's “I Will Breathe” rally. This is an especially critical time for all of us, as Metro’s leaders, to show up and listen to Black voices speaking out from across Davidson County. pic.twitter.com/6PToIvbW6y
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) May 30, 2020
I encourage everyone at today’s “I Will Breathe” rally to practice safe social distancing and wear face coverings to protect yourselves and each other.
— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) May 30, 2020
The afternoon event was largely peaceful, according to the Tennessean, until later.
“Tensions ratcheted up as evening set in, and protesters started a fire at Nashville’s Metro Courthouse, which also houses City Hall…Dozens of people had gathered on the steps of the building after the rally and march. Demonstrators smashed windows with rocks and other material, drawing a swarm of police.”
Among other things, BLM, for Black Lives Matter, was reportedly spray-painted on the courthouse doors.
Cops responded and used tear gas to disperse the rioters.
Law enforcement vet Dan Bongino has deemed the response to the George Floyd death in Minneapolis as evolved into domestic terrorism orchestrated by the far-left Antifa organization.
President Trump has vowed to end the violence from rioters, looters and anarchists which he says dishonors the memory of George Floyd. As they did during the COVID-19 pandemic, liberals will criticize (if they haven’t done so already) Trump for either doing too much or not enough in the face of civil unrest.
As an aside, in light of recent events, does anyone even remember the COVID outbreak anymore?
Mayor Cooper has subsequently declared a state of emergency for the city, and Gov. Bill Lee, a Republican, has deployed the National Guard at the request of Cooper.
@realDonaldTrump Nashville downtown is under attack.Our liberal mayor Cooper is allowing our court house to be burned.Police cars to be destroyed.THIS MUST STOP.
!OUR NATION GUARD NEEDS TO BE DEPLOYED!!!! pic.twitter.com/oyLQu8EC26
— Keith Washington (@KeithnNashville) May 31, 2020
Cops arrested 28 people after the city implemented a 10 p.m. curfew. Authorities say that 30 buildings or businesses were vandalized in the chaos. The Tennessean separately reported that of those taken into custody, “Eleven of those people were white, 16 black and one Hispanic.”
Tennessee is a red state, except generally for urban centers such as Nashville and Memphis.
In a more positive outcome, public-spirited good Samaritans are participating in the clean-up of graffiti left by vandals at the nearby Bridgestone Arena, the home of the perhaps ironically named Nashville Predators of the NHL.
— Shelley Mays (@TNPhotoShelleyM) May 31, 2020
In a statement, Cooper decried what happened as shameful and indicated that further arrests would be forthcoming.
Many on Twitter were not impressed, however, especially given the mayor’s strict, coronavirus-related lockdown orders.
Social distancing cancelled for pander party
Lockdown protest excoriated for not social distancing
Keep this up you will have the anarchist in BLM Antifa tearing up Nashville….they are being bussed to each city they drive past Nashville
— TheSaltyOne (@FOPTonyReed) May 30, 2020
But small business should remain closed for social distancing right?
— The Preds Pirate (@preds_4_Life) May 30, 2020
So we are now encouraging people to gather en masse and WE ARE NOT ALLOWED TO OPEN OHR BUSINESSES TO FULL CAPACITY? We are getting crushed. What happened to the virus? Open up the city. Please.
— The Original CornerPub-Green Hills (@CornerPubGH) May 30, 2020
What a shock, the blue blemish on Tennessee decides to spaz out for something that has zero to do with Nashville, or Tennessee in general.
— God-King Gio (@Gio_at_large) May 31, 2020
these aren’t protestors guys, these are terrorists
— ★ʀǟƈɦɛʟ “ʙɪɢ ɴᴀᴠɪ” ʊƈɦɨɦǟ!★ (@deplorablerach) May 31, 2020
I am so disgusted at this behaviour. No one in Nashville had anything to do with what that policeman did in Minneapolis. This has Democrats written all over this.
— Starla Moore (@bluestar379) May 31, 2020
They should arrest all of these rioters in Nashvile and then make them stay in jail until the courthouse is repaired.
— Dalton Potts® (@DaltonPotts) May 31, 2020
@JohnCooper4Nash Mayor Cooper’s “I can’t breathe” rally – You ban people from opening businesses and coming to Nashville but you invite thousands downtown for a protest rally that ends up in a RIOT – HE NEEDS TO RESIGN!!!
— BBHerb (@bb_herb) May 31, 2020
People think it’s great until they’re at their door, stealing their stuff or burning down the place they sleep.
— BlondeAmericanChick (@PonyGirl_04) May 31, 2020
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