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A rally and counterprotest are scheduled for Saturday, August 26, at a Confederate memorial on 17th Street in Fort Sanders. While the demonstration is not on university property, members of the campus community may be in the area and should stay aware of their surroundings and their personal safety.
The Knoxville Police Department is taking steps to ensure the safety of both participants and the public.
KPD worked with local, state, and federal law enforcement partners and the city’s Fire and Public Service Departments in planning for Saturday’s events. Read more about the details of those plans. The UT Police Department also is in close touch with KPD and various agencies about Saturday’s planned events.
Seventeenth Street from Cumberland Avenue to Highland Avenue will be closed to vehicle traffic beginning at 6 a.m. Saturday, and side streets along that stretch of 17th also will be blocked. These closures will provide room for designated demonstration areas for those who come to the rally.
As a security precaution, the city has mandated that guns, other weapons, and masks will not be allowed for people entering the designated demonstration areas. In compliance with state law, the areas will be subject to wanded security checks. In addition, temporary no-parking zones will be posted along adjoining streets and enforced by towing ahead of the demonstrations.
Residents affected by the street closures will be permitted to leave their homes and apartments as needed.
The UT Police Department is located in close proximity to the protest area at 1101 Cumberland Avenue. Additionally, there are campus blue phones on UT properties in the area that anyone can use to connect with UTPD. To reach KPD, call 911 for emergencies or 865-215-7000 for nonemergencies.
Chancellor Beverly Davenport shared a video message on Thursday about civility, free speech, and safety.
In response to the events, Tyson House Episcopal and Lutheran Campus Ministry, 824 Melrose Place, will be open from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.