Protesters against White Supremacists arrive In LeithLeith, ND (WDAY TV) - The people of Leith, North Dakota are hoping for a peaceful night after hundreds arrived today to protest the arrival of white supremacists in the tiny western north Dakota town. The big surprise today? A sea of law enforcement officers who locked down the town and stood between those yelling at each other.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAZ
Leith, ND (WDAY TV) - The people of Leith, North Dakota are hoping for a peaceful night after hundreds arrived today to protest the arrival of white supremacists in the tiny western north Dakota town. The big surprise today? A sea of law enforcement officers who locked down the town and stood between those yelling at each other.
Clearly the strong showing of the state patrol and various county sheriff's
department sent a message immediately to the white supremacists and those coming to protest them. You get violent, you go to jail.
The day started peacefully on this sleepy town and Sunday morning in Leith. Farm work ceased and in the town of Leith a surprise for everyone.
Steve Bay- Grant County Sheriff: “If we need to take a hold of the situation we will.”
Hours before any trouble was expected, the state patrol and deputies from four departments set up a command post, and shut down all entrances to Leith.
Troopers guarded even the smallest field roads into town.
Ryan Schock- Leith Mayor: “We’ve got to keep control of it a little bit”
The proactive plan worked. Shortly after noon, those protesting the presence of white supremacists in Leith arrived, and the unrest began.
Chase Iron Eyes – Came To protest white supremacists: “The last thing I want to do is be out in physical confrontation with low brows whose intelligence I can’t trust.”
A strong showing of support for Leith coming from North Dakota's Native Americans. Who came here angry and ready to take on Craig Cobb and members of the National Socialist Movement.
They marched down the main street of Leith, mocking the white supremacists who stood watching from the many lots in town they now own.
Flags with Nazi swastikas were all over town on land they now own.
What a day for those who have live in peace and quiet on these dusty town roads for decades.
Local Leith Resident: “Well I didn’t think that anything like that would happen here.”
Confrontations broke out, most of it cussing and racial slurs. But always, a strong line of law enforcement separated those preparing to fight.
In fact, as things heated up with the protestors, the special response team could be seen approaching the unrest, at the ready.
Bagpiper Jimmy Marr of Oregon is a white supremacist, he kicked off the town meeting.
Jimmy Marr- Member of National Socialist Movement: “Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.”
A lot of questions but few answers as to what will happen to those white supremacists living in Leith.
Some got unruly and were removed.
As Cobb and his followers left the town hall meeting, they were heckled and jeered.
Then, yelling from protestors. Close enough law enforcement moved them all back to avoid more confrontation.
Finally the sheriff sent them all home, Bobby Harper, the only black in Grant County, living right behind the white power supporters, couldn't believe the show of support.
Bobby Harper-Leith Resident:“It was good. It was real good.”
Bagpipes from the white supremacists bid them all farewell. Cobb seeming to enjoy the attention.
By night fall, everyone had left Leith,
The mayor now hopeful of one thing. Getting his town back.