Confederate 901 Returns To Memphis Over The Removal Of Jefferson Davis & Nathan Bedford Forrest
Confederate 901 was in Memphis TN, to protest the removal of memorabilia from the Jefferson Davis & Nathan Bedford Forrest statues removed by the city of Memphis in July. The event was organized by George “K-Rack” Johnson who has a history of misogynist rhetoric & flashes “White Power” signs associated with the Proud Boys. The event called for a two-day demonstration starting September 21st & 22nd.
Day 1 September 21st
On the first day of the demonstration supporters were to meet at Big River Crossing with confederate battle flags & parade across the Arkansas Tennessee State-line before caravanning to Health Sciences Park. Antifascists who were close-by located the caravan’s parking & spotted Rebel flags crossing Big River Bridge. They mobilized to engage the parade at the end of the bridge where the local news was waiting to air them.
The initial confrontation began with chants of “No Trump, No KKK, No Fascist USA!” disrupting several Confederate 901 interviews being conducted by the news. The Police quickly intervened between Anti Fascists & Confederate 901 keeping them apart as they made their way to their cars. After the confrontation at Big River Bridge, the Confederates held a short meeting before heading to Health Sciences Park. Antifascists quickly returned to their cars & infiltrated the Confederate caravan following two cars behind its leader. The Caravan quickly turned into dirty looks between Confederate supporters & antifascists as more became aware the caravan was infiltrated. Some supporters split-off due to this disruption, and were left aimlessly riding around without proper direction as to where the next rally point was.
Once the caravan reached Health Sciences Park, Confederate 901 stood on the sidewalk with Rebel Army flags waiting for the rest of their party to show up. While waiting two security vehicles pulled around the former statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest & parked. A security guard exited the vehicle & went over to Confederate 901 telling them the park was closed & that they were not allowed on the grass. Antifascists took this opportunity to engage Confederate 901 by standing parallel to the statue’s base causing the police to from a line between the statue & Confederate 901 with the antifascists being on the inside. After not being able to get close to the statue, Confederate 901 ended their rally & left Health Sciences park.
George “K-Rack” Johnson later went on Confederate 901’s Livestream on Facebook where he encouraged others to show up for the street march the next day & how a “special guests” was going to make an appearance. The “special guests” whom he referred was H. K. Edgerton. The former president of the Asheville, North Carolina, chapter of the NAACP. The end of the livestream included details about rally points, allowed items & for Militia men to join the event. Antifascist organized an Autonomous counter in response and invited local Memphis residents to join in.
Day 2 September 22nd
On the Second-Day of Confederate 901’s event, the group followed the same plan as the previous day. This time they gathered in Southhaven Mississippi where they were seen by two locals who told the news that they were not welcome. The group was headed to Memphis Park where the former Jefferson Davis statue was & where the antifascist counter was organized . The antifascists waited for about 45 minutes noticing that Confederate 901 was running late. The original start time for the demonstration was 1pm but Confederate 901 was behind due to the fact a member had gotten a speeding ticket while rushing to Memphis Park.
Around 1:50 pm the antifascists noticed an increase with Police activity & barricades being set up in front of the park. A signal alert told the antifascist that the Confederate Caravan was inbound to their location and the Antifascists mobilized to where they were entering the park. Around 2:30pm, Confederate flags were spotted 2 blocks west of Memphis Park and 30 Confederates were seen marching towards the park into where the antifascists were staged.
Upon confrontation, Confederate 901 was bombarded with insults & historical references from antifascists causing the police to intervene between them. Memphis Park had been closed the weekend of Confederate 901’s demonstration, so the group was forced to stay on the sidewalk. They Police told Confederate 901 that the poles of their flags were not allowed & escorted one Confederate supporter dressed as a Rebel Solider to take them back. The antifascists yelled “Awe” & chanted “Bless your heart” at the supporter carrying the poles back to his car.
Insults and chants were exchanged for about 35 minutes before Confederate 901 began mobilizing towards Memphis City Hall. Antifascists tailed the march from behind separated by five police officers in front of them. Confederate 901 was escorted to a plaza in front of City Hall that was blocked off by Yellow “Crime Scene” tape. Once arriving they took a picture in front of City Hall & were allowed in the building to rest before mobilizing down Main Street. Local residents of Memphis have also stated that no one has ever been allowed into the building during non-business hours.
As Confederate 901 marched down main street they were followed by Anti Fascists on the other side of city’s trolley tracks with two lines of police separating them. Many locals & shoppers came out to suppport the Antifascists upon hearing chants of “KKK Go Home!” & “No Trump No KKK, No Fascist USA”. The Confederate march received dirty looks & middle fingers by local passer-bys on Main Street. The Anti Fascists on the other side received claps and “Thank You”(s) as they walked by with other residents joining behind.
The March circled back to a parking garage, a block North of Memphis Park. The Confederates were heckled the entire time during their march and followed by antifascists to the point where they were completely silent & not saying or chanting anything back towards the counter protesters. It was clear they were not having a good time. While entering the garage chants of “Nah Nah Naah Hey Hey Hey Goodbye” were sung by antifascists.
Confederate 901 ended their event in Health Sciences Park where they were forced to stay outside of the park and this time inside a “Free Speech Pen” on the sidewalk. George “K Rack” Johnson along with H. K. Edgerton, both attempted to give speeches but were interrupted by constant shouts of “F*CK!” by antifascist both in front & across the street from the pen. The event in Health Sciences Park only lasted only an hour before they all left the park.
Monuments & Anti-Fascism
The turnout for this counter was okay only thanks to local radicals in Memphis & Anti Racists who ignored the standard “Just Ignore Them” clause coined by so many party officials in state legislature. As Anti-Fascists we are also Anti-State, meaning when Fascists show we mobilize with public approval or not. We have already seen & know what happens when racists go unchecked, people get hurt. By going out and taking a stand we are able to provide space for the local residents who are concered about their communities and wish to express themselves without feeling alienated & unsupported. The statues in the south will continue to fall and this situation will not get any better. It is up to us to stand up to the dieing ideas of Slavery & White Supremacy and combat it at every turn.