Demonstrators rally behind Confederate Ft. Sanders statue; counter protests planned

KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Protests in Knoxville are being planned over social media with a Confederate monument at the core of the argument.

Petitions began circulating online last week which called for the removal and the preservation of a Confederate statue in Fort Sanders. During that time, the statue was vandalized and some came by to clean it up.

Previous story: Debate continues over Confederate monument in Knoxville

Now, there are social media posts calling for a protest this Saturday beginning at 1 p.m. near the monument, along 17th Street, hoping to keep it right where it is. Some posts are showing up on white supremacist forums.

Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett released a statement,

“As out-of-town white supremacists and neo-Nazis head toward East Tennessee, I ask everyone of faith to pray for the safety and well-being of our community, our law enforcement and everyone involved, and for the healing of our nation. The racism and hatred of these white supremacists and neo-Nazis don’t reflect our values, and they are not welcome here.”

The monument in Fort Sanders was erected in 1914 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy as a way to remember Confederate soldiers who died in the battle of Fort Sanders. There are concerns white supremacist groups will be protesting for the monument to stay where it is, so a counter-protest is also being planned beginning at noon.

“It’s nothing like Charlottesville. We’ll be clearly kept apart, but they’re going to be able to clearly hear us and it’s a chance for Knoxville to say, ‘Not in our town,’” said counter-protest organizer Chris Irwin.

During his interview with WATE, Robert Ballard came to look at the monument and the two began arguing, sharing their beliefs. Ballard says when it comes to keeping the historical monument here and hate groups, they’re two entirely different worlds.

“Do I stand with any of these hateful organizations that want these monuments preserved? No, but I’m an American citizen and these matter to me. I have the right to say you cannot erase my history,” he said.

Related coverage: Why are there no public Confederate monuments in East Tennessee?

Irwin says Knoxville police are preparing for 3,000 protestors and 17th Street will be closed from White Avenue up to the top of the street.

Organizers add no weapons will be allowed and protesters on either side will not be able to open carry. Police officers will be on both ends of the sidewalk screening protestors.

There will be a barrier in the street of officers and bike racks so that no one can come and antagonize or harm another demonstrator. Those wanting to keep the monument will be on that side of the street, while counter-protestors will be stationed across.

“White supremacists are largely disarmed. They’re great at violence in the night, and burning crosses, and terrorizing African American populations. But in debate, in argument, and discussion they suck,” said Irwin.

“Will I be here? I don’t know. Would it matter? Would my voice be heard with ANTIFA standing across the street screaming at me? Would anyone listen to what I had to say?” asked Ballard.

Some groups being linked to Saturday’s protest include Confederate 28, which has been disbanded, as well as the Traditionalist Worker Party. Confederate 28 issued a statement to WATE 6 On Your Side late Wednesday:

At the Unite the Right free speech rally, Communist Party, Antifa, and BLM members attacked our permitted rally with: urine, feces, used condoms, used tampons, bats, bear mace, knives, acid, gas, poison, sticks, etc. Instead of denouncing the Left-Wing terrorism, our “conservative” GOP politicians attacked the legally permitted UtR rally, as “white supremacist”, “KKK”, and “neo-nazi”. Some of the people at UtR very well could have been “neo-nazi”, but there were African American and Jewish people standing in defense of the Lee statue; were they “neo-nazis” and “white supremacists”? Our GOP politicians didn’t take the time to look at the facts, but got caught up in sensationalized news and denounced their very voting base, instead of denouncing the people who were there illegally and caused the violence.

After the Battle of Charlottesville, the militant Left continued their war, by attacking any monument dedicated to our European ancestors (Saint Joan of Arc, even). Our GOP politicians failed us again, and echoed Antifa’s calls for the removal of our history. Yet again proving that the GOP does not have conservative Americans’ interests at heart.

We decided to host a rally in Knoxville, TN, after its monument was vandalized, because:

  1. Appalachians (East Tennesseans in particular) still have a sense of pride in their history, and a natural love for their folk.
  2. There are numerous Marxist, BLM, and Antifa supporting candidates seeking election in Knoxville, who are promoting our history being erased.
  3. The GOP politicians are cowards and do not care about their voting base, but are only doing the bidding of the Deep State; hence why they never make defensive statements for our historical monuments, but are quick to use buzzwords against any white person wanting to preserve their history.

As soon as the monument was vandalized, we sent out internet activists across the web with sock accounts to inflame the local population, to raise their voice against the removal of their monument. We spread word of a rally being planned to any and all conservative activists in East TN, and encouraged them to start FB rally events, to spread the word.

After the seeds were sown, we released on Stormfront that a rally was being planned by Confederate 28. We hoped that the media would catch wind of it, and hype it up, due to Charlottesville still being on tip of everyone’s tongue. It worked.

The local media discovered the post on SF, and, as expected, hyped the rally as a “neo-nazi” and “white supremacist” event, even though it was never billed as anything of the sort, nor even verified if it was indeed taking place. The media sensationalized the story, without doing any proper investigative journalism, and allowed the rally to blow up. Now the locals have taken up the cause of defending their statue by creating their own rally, due to the news’ advertisement.

Knoxville has thousands of Antifa, BLM, and other Marxist demonstrators busing into the city, and threats of violence are already being made by them. They are cursing the Knoxville Police Department, Southern history, and anyone who doesn’t agree with their radical positions. Now the people of Knoxville can see for themselves how these people behave and what they stand for. They will be able to formulate their own opinions of the Left, from real experience, vs the false “peaceful protester” narrative that the liberal media wants to force feed them.

Confederate 28 has dissolved due to internal issues, suspended all projects and evens, and we have no hand in the rally (this is all stated on our website). Most of our members have joined the Traditionalist Worker Party, but said organization will not be at the Knoxville rally, as far as we know.

The Knoxville locals have started their own rally, and have taken up the cause of defending their history. Now all their local and state GOP leaders are condemning them as being “white supremacists” and “neo-nazis”, for simply defending their monument. Tennessee GOP candidates have once again been informed by the liberal media, and shown that they do not care for their history or for the European peoples of America. This exposed truth will only aid us in ending our two-party system.

Confederate 28, with its last effort, has effectively: Brought the Knoxville memorial’s vandalism to statewide and national news, brought a horde of Antifa, Marxists, and BLM to Knoxville to show people their hatred for history, heritage, and law enforcement, created dox files on all the local East Tennessee Antifa activists and their supporters, prompted GOP candidates to openly turn on their own heritage and voters (strengthening the 3rd Position), and spurred a local grassroots pro-history rally.

It was C28’s pleasure to serve our folk. We wish the memorial’s defense rally a successful protest and pray for their safety, and for the safety of the KPD officers who are defending free speech.


“White supremacists said they’re coming into East Tennessee next weekend. They have a constitutional right to assemble, but the constitution also guarantees that we are all Americans without regard to race. Their views are wrong, their views are not welcome. and we need to say that loud and clear,” said Sen. Lamar Alexander.

The Knoxville chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy says they are aware of the protest but say they have absolutely nothing to do with it. UDC Knoxville chapter added in a statement they are devastated by the recent vandalism.

City leaders say they have determined the statue is on city-owned right of way. They’re now studying its background and consulting local historians. You can continue sharing your thoughts on the statue with city leaders by emailing feedback to [email protected].

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