Anti-hate rally held in Denton in response to reported white nationalist gatherings

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Dozens of people gathered Tuesday night at the Denton County Courthouse for a rally against hate.

The crowd came as a response to two incidents over the weekend. One of them was posted online. A group gathered outside a bar apparently chanting "Reclaim America."

Tuesday’s rally was organized in response to two reported incidents involving apparent white nationalists in Denton. One was recorded on video of a group chanting outside a bar. Another was an assault call.

Denton City Councilmember Deb Armintor addressed the crowd along with a variety of local activists, residents and religious leaders.

Organizer Catherine Giles says the “Hate has no place in Denton County” protest was her way of creating an open dialogue about hate speech. Speakers shared their stories dealing with racism, transphobia, and anti-Semitism in Denton.

Denton police assigned officers to the square to make sure the gathering stayed safe. It was peaceful.

Tuesday’s call to action was to urge city leaders to make public statements condemning hate speech.

“I believe that we’re all Americans and that we need to come together versus dividing ourselves and infighting among ourselves to come up with positive solutions,” Giles said.

Giles organized Tuesday’s protest after seeing a video taken on Saturday at Rubber Gloves Rehearsal Studio on Sycamore Street which shows a group of protesters chanting outside. The people inside the venue believed the protestors to be tied to a white nationalist group.

Denton PD says they got a call just before 10 p.m. about a protest outside of the venue. But when officers arrived, they found no protestors.

The next day at 11 p.m., police got a call about an assault at Harvest House Bar on Hickory Street.  A bartender said her manager had asked a group of four people to leave. She says two of them had swastika tattoos and used an anti-Semitic slur. Police confirmed that one person struck the manager in the face with a beer glass.