Confederate symbols advocates hold rally in spite of monument removal

A few dozen people gathered Saturday afternoon around the empty pedestal where a bronze statue of Robert E. Lee stood a few days before. The group This is Texas Freedom Force organized the demonstration.

Participants took a moment to lay wreaths at the now empty pedestal and speakers urged the crowd to get involved and stop similar removals from taking place.

“If you don't reverse this now, idiots like Rawlings and the city council of Dallas are going to continue to perpetuate,” said This is Texas Freedom Force president, Robert Beverly.

The controversial monument takedown happened Thursday after a legal battle and city council vote. Demonstrators had hoped to make their voices heard before that happened.

“I feel like my history is being taken away. I think it's what used to be book burnings, now they're removing statues, removing nativity scenes, removing the Ten Commandments,” said Bedford resident, Teresa Williams.

“This right here was unnecessary, that statue's been here 81 years,” said Chris Seeger.

The rally was mostly peaceful. Things became tense with one counter-protester who was wearing a Black Lives Matter T-shirt. That man was detained by police after a scuffle with ralliers.

In spite of the brief upset, organizers hope their message will be heard by city officials.

“The people that removed it had no right to, they did it behind our backs, they didn't ask us if we wanted it or not. They had no right to remove it,” said Rosemary Ramirez.

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