Confederate flag supporters, Black Lives Matter protesters clash at Florida rally
In Sunrise, Florida, Confederate flag supporters clashed with Black Lives Matter protesters on Sunday afternoon.
According to WSVN, about 400 people were attending a pro-Confederate flag rally when the confrontation began.
“We’re just here to have a barbecue. They’re out there screaming, wearing masks and ripping flags off of our trucks as we drive by,” pro-Confederate flag organizer Chris Nicolaus told WSVN.
The Black Lives Matter protesters said that the rally-goers were not welcome there.
“It’s not OK to come into our town with a symbol of hate,” said a protester calling himself St. James. “We delayed them at their starting point. We slowed them down.”
“They don’t realize this is a rebellious flag,” he continued. “The reason all those states seceded was to keep slavery, and the more they hold up these flags, the more they’re showing that’s what they want: They want slavery, they want racism to be in his town.”
But the flag rally-goers said that the accusations of racism were untrue. “We feel like it’s got a bad stigma,” said Nicolaus. “We’re not racists. We all grew up in South Florida, multiple nationalities.”
Still, St. James said that it was worth fighting to defeat the misconception that the Confederate flag is not a racist symbol. “I believe in what I’m fighting for, I believe in this cause. If someone wants to be violent towards me, I couldn’t care less,” he said.