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Bloomington Residents Protest Against White Supremacist

A crowd gathered on the Bloomington’s town square Saturday to protest against a white supremacist who was speaking in favor of “Southern Heritage and Confederate History.”

Videographer: Joe Hren

The activist Thomas Buhls held a cardboard sign that had an image of a confederate flag and read “CELEBRATE YOUR WHITE HERITAGE.” A crowd of protestors gathered closely around, using expletives to tell him to “go home” and “get out of Bloomington.”

Several police officers and vehicles were present at the scene. No one was injured, but the group got heated when the Buhls tried to walk away and protestors would not let him leave, blocking his path and pushing him.

Buhls later started walking down Kirkwood toward the IU campus. The protestors followed him, and he was eventually taken away in a police car.

During the protest, Katie Thompson, a graduate student at IU, stood nearby wearing a black hoodie and holding a sign that read “LOVE IS THE ANSWER.” She says neither side was behaving appropriately.

“If we are trying to fight against people being hateful to each other, the way to do that is not to be hateful to them,” she says.

Thompson says she attended the protest in solidarity for Trayvon Martin, the 17-year-old African American who was shot and killed in his Florida neighborhood in February.

“It’s a very unfortunate reminder that racism is not over, that this racism and violence still exists in our community, and we need to do something about it,” she says.

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