White nationalist rallies have state of Tennessee on high alert


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Governor Bill Haslam said on Tuesday that all hands are on deck with local and state agencies, including the National Guard, in the case that he declares a state of emergency due to the rallies.

“Bigotry and violence are not part of who we are and it is really not welcome in Tennessee,” Haslam told reporters in Nashville.

The two rallies planned in Shelbyville and Murfreesboro have the entire state of Tennessee on high alert.

“Local law enforcement will play the lead but THP and the safety department are ready to support in anyway necessary,” explained Haslam.

Haslam told News 2 that all state agencies are on standby in case things become violent.

A spokesperson for the Tennessee National Guard said that they have not received any orders to activate this weekend as of Tuesday.

“We will have all resources alert and available if something should happen,” said Haslam.RELATED: #MurfreesboroLoves: Graphic spreads on Facebook ahead of white nationalist rally

TEMA said they will be in touch with local officials as the rallies unfold, and if they are called upon, they can make a speedy response.

(Photo: WKRN)

Haslam is not declaring a state of emergency for Tennessee yet.

“We only do that when we truly think it is a state of emergency and we will be monitoring everything before that,” explained Haslam.

Earlier this month, Florida Governor Rick Scott issued a warning ahead of a rally planned at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Haslam said if the National Guard is needed over the weekend, he will have to issue that state of emergency in order to activate the units.

“In a situation like that, you actually have to declare a state of emergency to have the guard come out,” said Haslam.

He assures News 2, if things go south, Tennessee will be ready.

“I think General Haston could get his folks there really quickly,” said Haslam.

Until then, every key player will be monitoring the situations in Middle Tennessee.MORE: Businesses plan to close, board windows for white nationalist rally in Murfreesboro

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