PIKEVILLE, KY (WCMH) — There was a tense face-off Saturday as a white nationalist group held a rally in Kentucky.
The Traditionalist Workers Party faced counter-protesters during an event in Pikeville Saturday.
The group announced some time ago that they planned to have a rally downtown to take a stand for white working families. The group is labeled as a white nationalist hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center.
In response to the group’s decision to come to Pikeville, a counter-protest formed by protesters spreading a message of equality for all races.
The rallies brought spectators and attention that Pikeville residents did not want.
“The majority of the people I’ve spoken to just want them to go home,” said resident Kyle Newsome. “And they sorta wish the counter protesters hadn’t come and these people would just do what they’re gonna do and leave.”
Newsome has lived in Pike County his whole life and is a student at the University of Pikeville. He says several of his friends left town this weekend, fearing their own safety.
“I have a friend who lives in Belfry who’s staying out of the city, I have a friend who lives in Louisa and he went home. He skipped work on Friday so he could go home because he didn’t feel safe living on campus while this was happening,” Newsome told CNN affiliate WSAZ.
Several law enforcement agencies, from the Pikeville Police Department to Homeland Security, were all on standby should things get out of hand. Police made several arrests during the rallies.