Charlottesville violence sparks local march through Memphis

Charlottesville violence sparks local march through Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - More than 100 people gathered at the steps of the Nathan Bedford Forrest statue in Mid-Town in solidarity with the people of Charlottesville, Virginia after one protester was killed.

"We understand that what happens in Charlottesville can happen in Memphis," said Pastor Earl Fischer.

It all started with a social media post made by activist Tami Sawyer.

"I couldn't sit at home and watch a Netflix marathon and people are killing righteous activists in the streets," Sawyer said.

The people wanted to stand against the violence, a part of other events in cities all over the country. Once again, they demanded the statue of Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest be taken down.

Representative Steve Cohen was a surprise guest of the event and addressed the crowd.

"I am truly afraid of what's happening to our nation, it starts with Donald Trump. It ends with Donald Trump," Rep. Cohen said.

"Our president would not name this was white supremacy, our congressman would, that takes some bravery," Sawyer said. "There were no other elected officials today. Our mayor is silent."

Afterward, people took to the streets, shutting down a portion of Union Avenue to march up and down the street.

Police scrambled to contain the crowd, asking people to gather on the sidewalks. No one was injured and the entire event remained peaceful.

"That walk was in solidarity with the people who unfortunately lost their lives," Sawyer said. "Three people are dead in Charlottesville today. Luckily, we'll get to go home and sleep tonight."

It started as an unplanned showing of support and turned into so much more as the people of Memphis continue to stand up for what they believe is right.

"We deserve equality, we deserve for our lives to matter," Sawyer said.

Copyright 2017 WMC Action News 5. All rights reserved.