Demonstrators wearing Confederate uniforms poured into Baltimore streets Saturday, just two days before MLK Day.
They say the date was not meant to be racially motivated.
Sons of Confederate Veterans and United Daughters of the Confederacy demonstrators said that they picked the date to honor the birthdays of Generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson, which are January 19 and 21.
King’s birthday was the 15th, with the holiday held the third Monday of every January. The Confederate demonstration has been held the third weekend of every January.
Recently, the demonstrations have caused more of a stir, and local residents have tried to get the event moved to a different date, with local Quakers organizing silent protests to that point.
“Everyone has a right to free speech, but it’s blatant racism,” said Tessa Hill-Alsto, president of the local NAACP chapter.
But organizers insist that the demonstration is not meant to “antagonize” anyone.