Bethel, OH — Last weekend, residents in the small Ohio town of Bethel heard that Black Lives Matter protestors were going to be traveling in from Cincinnati, Columbus or Detroit to augment the numbers at two planned rallies.
Bethel is a town of less than 3,000 people. Concerned that their town could be the next setting of a ‘peaceful protest’ that wasn’t so peaceful, the citizens didn’t sit back and wait to see what happened.
Hundreds of people poured onto Union Street to stand up to the out of town bullies. And it wasn’t just militia men. It was couples, men and women, young and old.
For folks in Bethel, Ohio, even ‘peaceful’ protestors were bringing trouble. After all, George Floyd lived hundreds of miles away and they didn’t identify with these problems.
“We just want it to stop,” said Brad McCall, a carpenter and longtime resident who joined counterprotesters. “We got a peaceful town. We don’t want our town destroyed.”
As the protest’s time drew nearer, local resident Donna Henson, 78, said of the crowd of locals, “Everybody had a gun. Like a cowboy show.”
When the protest started, no busloads of out of town trouble makers came, after all.
Police estimated between 80 and 100 people showed up to support Black Lives Matter, including the organizer, a 36-year-old substitute teacher from Bethel who makes arts and crafts.
But there were hundreds of patriots, standing up for America and for their small town. Over 250 motorcyclists made it to the town and essentially lined the streets to make sure the ‘peaceful’ protestors stayed that way.
There were minor scuffles, but with the odds overwhelming in favor of the residents, things stayed relatively calm. Considering Bethel only has 8 police officers — and they were all there — the odds weren’t in their favor, either.
The residents didn’t have many tears to shed for the grandstanding protestors. After all, Bethel is 97% white, according to the U.S. Census. In fact, less than one half of one percent of the town is black, according to Census data. That’s 1.4 people in the entire town.
“Why bring it to Bethel?” Brad McCall said. “Why not go to Chicago? Look how many Black people are getting killed in Chicago. Black people are not getting killed in Bethel.”
Police detained several people on both sides, but no charges are known at this time.