Protesters versus the League of the South

Photo credit: Belynda Wesley 

The League of the South (LOS) is a white nationalist, neo-confederate, white supremacist organization that is based out of Killen, Alabama. More than two dozen of their members came to Tallahassee on Saturday. What they did not expect, was to be outnumbered by 150 anti-white supremacy protesters.

LOS’s ultimate goal is “a free and independent Southern republic” and to define the Southern United States as the states that make up the Confederate States of America. They travel to southern states and have rallies with different objectives.

Michael Hill, President of League of the South, says he came to the Capital with a mission.

“We like to come out, time through time and remind people that we are still here. We have been around for 25 years, we like to show our flags and tell people our message which today’s appeal to the people of Florida. We believe in survival, well-being, and independence of the people. We believe the south would be better as its own nation. Not moved from either party in Washington, D.C with self-control and that’s why we are out here; for state sovereignty,” said Hill.

With only two-dozen members by his side, LOS arrived at the Capital with white signs in hand that read “Restore Florida Sovereignty” but also yelling back to the anti-white supremacist protesters, calling some “FREAKS”.

Richard Garzola, the organizer for the anti-white supremacy protesters, spoke about what gave him the motivation to do so.

“I saw that the League of the South were coming to Tallahassee so I reached out to everybody I know and it became everything more than what I wanted,” said Garzola.

Though there were over 150 anti-white supremacy protesters and close to two dozen members of LOS at the rally, majority of the headcount came from the four branches of police departments. There were hundreds of officers with one mission in mind: keeping everyone safe.

Photo credit: Belynda Wesley 

Florida Department of Law Enforcement Spokeswoman Jessica Cary said there will not be a press conference nor release for this event, but that all officers are just here to keep everybody safe and to avoid any type of violence from happening.

Also in attendance at Saturday’s rally next to Hill was Chief of Staff Michael Tubbs.

Tubbs is known for having displayed racist gestures, according to Southern Poverty Law Center. In 1987, prosecutors say that Sergeant First Class Michael R. Tubbs and a United States Army Special Forces soldier toted automatic weapons fitted with silencers and dressed in black, robbed two fellow soldiers of their M-16 rifles. They shouted, “This is for the KKK” as they fled.  Additionally, Tubbs was arrested and sentenced to four years in federal prison for his part in a plot to bomb a Jewish and African American- owned businesses in Jacksonville, Florida.

The crowd continued to grow as the hours went by. Even though counter protesters knew LOS would be at the location by 10 A.M. in the morning, people showed up as early as 8 A.M.

Florida State Chapter of Students for a Democratic Society were some of the early birds holding up their sign that read “Stand against white supremacy”.  Some were drawing their signs to hold high in the air and a few were chanting rally chants and songs for all to hear. An anti-white supremacy protester yelled out, “Are you the superior Race?”

Members of FSU students of Democratic Society spoke about why their organization feels so strongly about LOS coming to Tallahassee.

“We are here to drown out their message of hate and to stand up against the white supremacy,” said Katherine Draken. “Tallahassee does not agree with their views; we don’t agree with white supremacy especially in today’s times,”  said Cea Moline.