Photo by Anthony Merriweather / MTSU Sidelines
Story by Megan Cole / Contributing Writer
The organization “Murfreesboro Loves” created a campaign to encourage citizens of Murfreesboro to shop from businesses on the City Square on Friday and Saturday to help make up for the profits lost due to the “White Lives Matter” rally scheduled on the square the previous weekend.
Many businesses in Murfreesboro shut down and boarded up their storefronts in preparation for the rally. The march in Murfreesboro was eventually canceled by the White Lives Matter organizers.
WMOT, MTSU’s radio station, broadcasted live music at Puckett’s Grocery and Restaurant during the morning and afternoon in support of the town.
“We wanted to come out and support the local town square of Murfreesboro, they suffered a real financial setback last week because they had to shut down and board up most of the businesses in fear of some of the demonstrations that were going on,” said John Walker, the executive producer of Music City Roots and Roots Radio on WMOT.
“I was really proud that it got shut down, I thought it was a very pleasant surprise,” Walker said. “We’re all about the First Amendment and the right to express yourself whether we agree or not, but when violence is encouraged it’s not a good thing.”
Karin Carter, a Murfreesboro resident, stated that she came to Puckett’s to eat and give back to Murfreesboro.
“We just love the city, and we’re glad that the demonstrations were cancelled,” Carter said.
Jason Bennett, a co-organizer of the event, said that there was an even better turnout on Saturday than he had anticipated.
“There were so many people,” Bennett said. “All of the restaurants were on like an hour wait to get in. A lot of businesses jumped on board, and I think they were a little bit skeptical at first because it was a protest but it was a different kind of protest.”
Ben Northern, a bassist and vocalist for the band Plow’d, has been playing music for over 30 years. Plow’d is based in Lascassas and came to support local businesses in Murfreesboro.
“It’s fabulous, I’ve lived in Murfreesboro for over 30 years,” Northern said. “Even though Murfreesboro is growing by leaps and bounds, it is still a very close knit, small town feel community. I think the fact that people came together and pretty much effectively shut the (rally) down, that was beautiful. I think it shows what we’re made of.”
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