An Arkansas Black Lives Matter group was confronted by an armed militia. One protester carried a flamethrower as a 'deterrent.'

insider@insider.com (Taylor Ardrey)
·3 min read
thomas robb
Thomas Robb, the director of the "Knights Party" of the Ku Klux Klan, in 2015.

Johannes Schmitt-Tegge/picture alliance via Getty Images

  • An Arkansas Black Lives Matter group was confronted by an armed militia at a protest on Sunday.

  • The New York Post reported that the group congregated in Harrison, Arkansas, and landed near the compound of the Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Robb.

  • One protester, Quinn Foster, told Insider that he carried a flamethrower as a "deterrent" after receiving over 100 deaths threats leading up to the protest.

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.

A Black Lives Matter protester in Arkansas said he carried a flamethrower as a "deterrent" if things got out of control during a demonstration against white supremacy on Sunday.

Quinn Foster, an organizer of the protest in Harrison, Arkansas, told Insider that he had received more than 100 death threats from opponents of the Black Lives Matter movement before the protest. He said white supremacists were 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."

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The New York Post reported that the protest began in Harrison and moved to Zinc, near the compound of the Ku Klux Klan leader Thomas Robb.

Aaron Clarke and Jessica Angelica, cofounders of Bridge the Gap NWA, a group that advocates for Black communities in the state, organized the protest to send a statement to the KKK, Foster said.

Foster is the director of Ozarks Hate Watch, which describes itself as a group protecting the state from extremists. The group was involved in organizing the protest and assisted with security and medical aid.

Foster said that during the protest, the group came into contact with an armed militia that had been requested by the KKK. He said the militia members wore neon tags and carried 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.

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Foster said the members of the armed group were "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.

Ozarks Hate Watch posted images of the armed group on Facebook. "Militia blocking the road to the Klan Compound," the caption said. "Too bad they didn't realize we had no intention on going to his compound."

The protest ended peacefully, and the militia allowed the demonstrators to go on their way, Foster said.

Foster said Bridge the Gap NWA and Ozarks Hate Watch were planning another demonstration in September.

Expanded Coverage Module: black-lives-matter-module

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