One Arrested at Lee Statue Removal Protest - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

One Arrested at Lee Statue Removal Protest

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Protesters and counter-protester clash at rally to protest the removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. (Published Saturday, Sept. 16, 2017)

    An empty platform is all that's left after city crews took the statue of Robert E. Lee down from the Oak Lawn Park where it stood for 81 years.

    Demonstrators aren't done protesting its removal.

    Tempers flared at a rally Saturday afternoon where supporters and protesters clashed.

    The demonstration came two days after the confederate monument was removed.

    The rally began with a memorial. Two flower arrangements were placed on the pedestal. It was a symbolic service to mourn the removal of the statue, and what supporters say is a censorship of history.

    “That memorial service made it real and this is what's happening if we don't put a stop to it,” said Robert Beverly.

    Beverly is with the group “This Is Texas Freedom Force” which organized the rally.

    About 150 people attended, including counter protesters.

    “They need to know that they are not in the majority, that they don't represent white people, I'm white but standing here for Black Lives Matter,” said Al Woolum, a counter protester.

    Supporters were bussed in, some with weapons. Others carried flags and signs with messages for Mayor Mike Rawlings accusing him of misspending taxpayer money to remove the statue.

    As a crowd began to gather, Woolum clashed with a supporter of the statue. He was handcuff and escorted away. Dallas police say he was charged with disorderly conduct.

    “The Mayors task force can take Lee out of this park but can’t they take the southern pride out of Texas!” said former Dallas City Councilwoman Sandra Crenshaw.

    At one point, there were about 150 people at the rally.

    Beverly told NBC 5 he was disappointed there weren't more.

    He said the “This is Texas Freedom Force” plans to gather signatures at next month’s State Fair Classic football game.

    The petition will call for the removal of a statue of former Dallas mayor R.L. Thornton.

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