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Black Lives Matter protesters chant for justice in small town, despite some pushback

One woman's reaction shows how BLM's message can be easily misunderstood

Photo by Unsplash / Chris Henry

A Black Lives Matter protest in Watsontown, Pennsylvania, was recently confronted by enraged counter-protesters. One video, which immediately went viral, shows a woman standing across the street from the BLM protesters and screaming expletives at them despite being met with calm responses in return. Seemingly infuriated by chants of "No justice, no peace," the unidentified woman retorted with an expletive while threatening to "give [them] no peace."

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According to Newsweek, when one of the protesters attempted to de-escalate the situation by shouting "we love you" at the woman, she responded with several a few obscenities before yelling, "You live off of white people." She also went on to accuse the crowd of being communists and told them to "keep your HIV over there." According to LGBTQ Nation, the woman was part of a group including motorcycle club members, "three percenters, and other local residents."

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The peaceful demonstration—organized by the "If Not Us, Then Who?" group—is said to have become tense after local police intervened and shut down three blocks of traffic when counter-protesters began harassing those marching for racial justice. "We didn't plan to block the street off. There was a confrontation in the middle of the street. Things are going to get ugly here," Watsontown Police Chief Rodney Witherite told reporters.

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Some of the men seen in the video beside the woman reportedly wore "Make America Great Again" and "Re-elect Trump 2020 Make liberals cry again" hats while one held a sign that reads, "Beer Matters. It's O.K. to kill a beer." Meanwhile, another man carrying a gun and shaking hands with a police officer is said to have sported a "III%" tattoo on his right arm—a possible reference to the Three Percenters, a far-right militia movement who consider themselves patriotic citizens fighting the tyranny of the U.S. government.

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In another video filmed by photographer Paul Weaver at the Watsontown protest, a different woman is seen yelling from her car, "Democrats started the KKK," while a child beside her shouted "all lives matter," at passing Black Lives Matter protesters. As these disturbing clips went viral on social media, netizens severely condemned their behavior.

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