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MURFREESBORO, Tenn. (WKRN) – News 2 captured a photo of four people praying at Murfreesboro’s square ahead of this weekend’s rallies.
The group of four got there around 6 a.m. and prayed for about 15 minutes. They told News the events of this weekend moved them to pray for peace.
“Mostly that peace will be a result of this rally. I know everyone is afraid there will be chaos,” prayer Sapphire Goins said.
She continued, “We just pray there will be peace and that everyone who comes here will experience that and that basically the rally will be uneventful – that they’ll just come and go and the town will move on and the businesses will be protected. And especially prayers for our mayor because he’s experiencing a ton of stress right now.”RELATED: Safety plans in place for white nationalist rally in Murfreesboro
The prayers said they have been coming to the square for the last two weeks and plan to continue to do so on Friday morning. They said they will be praying from their homes on Saturday.
With the uncertainty of the weekend rallies, many Murfreesboro business owners are taking precautions.
Businesses along the square in downtown Murfreesboro will close Friday night and remain closed through Saturday. Some business owners plan to board up their windows, too.MORE: Events canceled, roads closed due to white nationalist rallies Saturday
According to the vice president of the downtown association said many shops make up to 20 percent of their weekly revenue in just one day.
Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland said in a statement, “I am deeply saddened that any group who is not from our community can come in and create chaos and fear in our city. The people who are suffering from these actions are residents.”
At nearby Middle Tennessee State University, the president has decided to lock down residence halls on campus all weekend long out of abundance of caution and for the safety of students.