An Arkansas Black Lives Matter group was confronted by an armed militia. One protester carried a flamethrower as a 'deterrent.'
(Yahoo News) - A Black Lives Matter protester in Arkansas said he carried a flamethrower around as a "deterrent" if things got out of control in their demonstration against white supremacists.
Quinn Foster, an organizer of the protest based in Harrison, Arkansas, on Sunday, told Insider that he received more than 100 death threats from people who oppose the Black Lives Matter movement. He said white supremacists are trying to normalize their beliefs, existence, and activities in Arkansas.
"I knew that a lot of the white supremacists and militia folks are extremely reliant on gun powder based weapons ... I needed something that was going to be a deterrent," Foster told Insider. "It could be readily available as a defensive weapon very quickly if I needed to get people to back up or stop shooting in our direction."
According to the New York Post, the protest began in Harrison, Arkansas, and moved on to Zinc, near the compound of Ku Klux Klan leader, Thomas Robb.
Aaron Clarke and Jessica Angelica, co-founders of Bridge the Gap NWA, a group that focuses on advocating for the Black community in the state, organized the protest to make a statement to the KKK, according to Foster.
Foster is the director Ozarks Hate Watch a local group that protects the state from extremists. The group was involved in the organization of the protest and assisted the demonstration with security and medical aid.
According to Foster, during the protest, the group came in contact with an armed militia, who he says was requested by the KKK in advance. He said the militia were wearing neon tags and carrying AR-15s.
"While most of them were not an issue, we did have one who kept pointing her rifle at the crowd with her finger on the trigger and that's probably the closest the confrontation came to spiraling out of control," Foster said.
Foster said the armed group was "extremely aggravated" because they didn't have anything to defend themselves from a flamethrower.
"They were expecting me to show up with a rifle or shotgun, like I've done in the past," he said.
In a Facebook post, the Ozarks Hate Watch group posted images of the scene of the armed group.
In the caption, the group said, "Militia blocking the road to the Klan Compound. Too bad they didn't realize we had no intention [of] going to his compound."
The protest ended peacefully and the militia allowed the demonstrators to be on their way, according to Foster.
Foster said that Bridge the Gap NWA and Ozarks Hate Watch are planning another demonstration in September.