Yesterday, fascist and neo-Nazi organizations held a rally in the town of Pikeville, Kentucky. Although the organizations are not native to Pikeville they targeted this small conservative community on the belief that white, rural workers who voted for Trump would be a receptive audience.
Instead, residents interviewed before the rally reported being “furious, scared and resentful.”
Despite early reports that there was no violence, an attendee of the counter-protest described post-protest violence from the neo-Nazi groups:
Antifascists showed up to the Pikeville event early, an hour before the Nazis arrived. Police were everywhere, Main St. was barricaded, and all connecting streets were barricaded as well. The Nazis were penned in next to the town Courthouse.
Given that Pikeville had passed a mask ordinance and that the Nazis dressed in black, Antifa wore normal clothes, but with red bandanas.
Street medics and other supporters handed out water and snacks, while the rest shouted, blew whistles, tooted vuvuzelas, banged drums, and taunted the Nazis. It was relatively peaceful, but a man did hop the barricades to go one on one with a Nazi. The cops shoved him back into the protest area.
When the Nazis left, 30-odd riot police showed up to funnel the protest group away from their cars during their departure.
Afterwards, a car full of Nazis drove past a few comrades, aimed handguns at them out the windows, and threw a flashbang at them. No police response to that, of course. Nobody was injured and the people of Pikeville seemed happy that we came out to support them after finding that their store closures and university evacuation weren’t needed.
Update: some dumbass nazi fired a gunshot into the air on the way out
Dave Mistich also reported a gunshot as the neo-Nazis departed the venue:
The Traditionalist Worker Party is the same neo-Nazi organization that was responsible for multiple stabbings and hospitalizations at a Sacramento rally last year. Matthew Heimbach, the organization’s leader, is also the same man who was filmed punching a black woman at a pro-Trump rally. Heimbach has filed a lawsuit against Donald Trump, claiming that Trump inspired him to punch the woman. He currently has an active warrant out for his arrest.
A local reporter described being unable to find Pikeville residents who supported the white supremacists. Additionally, that the neo-Nazi organizations were outnumbered by the opposition.
Although this was billed as an armed rally, it seems that relatively few neo-Nazi protesters were armed. This is a good thing, given what little firearm discipline they seem to have had. However, they did have lots of tiny homemade shields: