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The group to hold "White Lives Matter" rally explains why it chose Murfreesboro

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The group planning a white nationalist rally in Murfreesboro explained to Fox 17 News Tuesday why it chose the middle Tennessee town for the event.

With its small businesses, historic buildings and friendly people, downtown Murfreesboro looks like a charming Southern town, hardly the venue you'd expect for a controversial protest.

When word got out that a white nationalist rally is planned for the square on Saturday, many Murfreesboro neighbors were left questioning why.

"I guess I wonder why they would do it here instead of some of the larger cities in the South or Southeast," Von Prater said.

"I have heard that it may be because of the Civil War monuments close by," Meaghan Hill said. "Maybe that's why they're choosing Murfreesboro."

A spokesperson for League of the South, the organizing group for the events, provides several reasons.

He said they feel comfortable in Murfreesboro. After hosting several successful rallies in Tennessee in the past, the group said it trusts local law enforcement to keep its events safe and peaceful.

"The main reason is we have a high opinion of law enforcement in Tennessee," said Brad Griffin, public relations chief with League of the South. "We expect things to be peaceful, unlike how they were in Charlottesville, Virginia, and as we've seen in Berkeley and Portland, where the police just stand around and let anarchy ensue."

Griffin also said the middle Tennessee town is centrally located, making it easier for out-of-state members to get there.

Finally, the group said recent events, specifically the Antioch church shooting, are timely with its message of white nationalism and concerns over refugee resettlement.

"If the races had been reversed in Antioch, and a white guy went into a black church and shot all those people there, it would have been the biggest story for a month," Griffin said. "That's what we think."

This isn't the first time the League of the South has hosted rallies in middle Tennessee. Almost three years ago, it held events in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro.

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