At odds over tactics and slinging allegations against each other, two groups of Fort Worth protesters are organizing separate rallies on opposite sides of downtown Tuesday evening.
The first group, United My Justice, started the downtown rallies at the historic Tarrant County Courthouse and accused the second group, known as Enough is Enough, of hijacking their movement.
“We are a non-violent protest,” United My Justice president Donnell Ballard said. “We don’t believe in going to terrorize. We’re not going to go inside (any) building.”
On Monday, video on social media showed members of Enough is Enough marching inside the Target store on West 7th Street.
“Not one thing broken or stolen,” one protester wrote on Twitter. “Just stopping the money flow.”
Enough is Enough organizer Rod Smith said his group also is non-violent but is focusing on businesses along west 7th Street to get its message out.
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“It’s time we go big or go home,” he said.
Smith accused United My Justice of being too political.
“It’s time we put people over politics,” he said. “These politicians are the ones keeping these policies in place.”
Smith said his group’s demands include police reform and the demilitarization of the police department.
“We’re tired of them coming into our communities like it’s a warzone,” Smith said.
Smith is a one-time unsuccessful candidate for Fort Worth city council and also is the cousin of Jacqueline Craig, whose controversial arrest by a Fort Worth officer in 2016 sparked protests, drew international attention, and led the city to appoint a Race and Culture Task Force.
The tension between the two groups escalated so much on Saturday that Smith accused Ballard of threatening to shoot members of his group when both sides got in a heated confrontation.
“Not true,” Ballard said.
Enough is Enough has about 1,800 members on its Facebook page.
United My Justice has about 6,200 members on its page.
Ballard said his group would meet at the Water Gardens at 6 p.m. Tuesday.
Enough is Enough planned to meet at the same time outside the courthouse.
Despite their differences, Smith said both groups still share common goals and suggested they might come together.
“Yes, we are two groups, but we are two groups fighting for one mission,” Smith said. “I’m inviting them to the table to discuss strategy. That’s the only way we are going to get this done.”