'Memphis Is Apartheid': Black Lives Matter Tries to Shut Down Graceland and Disrupt Elvis Week

Cortney O'Brien
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Posted: Aug 16, 2016 12:00 PM
'Memphis Is Apartheid': Black Lives Matter Tries to Shut Down Graceland and Disrupt Elvis Week
Black Lives Matter is doing the unthinkable: they are planning to "Shut Down Graceland." It's Elvis Week in Memphis, Tennessee, an annual event where thousands of people arrive to recognize the anniversary of the rock n' roll legend's death. 

Yet, activists are not interested in celebrating Presley, arguing that Graceland has a history of police injustice against black citizens.

Leaders say they also chose Graceland because "it demonstrates one of Memphis's most common forms of financial inequality and because the site has ties to...the death of unarmed teen Darrius Stewart."

A community leader, Frank Gottie, is extremely suspicious of the protesters' timing.

"They had 30 days to respond, but they responded right before Elvis Week," said Gottie. "Elvis Week must be really important, because I got a lot of phone calls. Homeland security and everybody. [They said] don't go to Elvis more than 20 deep, you can't go there. But how they going to say that when it's welcome to the public?"

So, tourists just trying to enjoy a week of Presley festivities are instead being greeted by angry protests. Some raw footage from USA Today shows a group of women wearing Elvis t-shirts walking nervously by police and protesters, with some activists holding signs that read, "Put the gun down and fight like a man" and "Memphis is Apartheid."

It also sounds like some of the protesters are chanting, "F*** the police!"