Demonstrations over Confederate monument in downtown Greenville - FOX Carolina 21

Demonstrations over Confederate monument in downtown Greenville remain peaceful, no arrests

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Protesters gathered in downtown Greenville. (8/26/17 FOX Carolina) Protesters gathered in downtown Greenville. (8/26/17 FOX Carolina)
Protesters gathered in downtown Greenville. (8/26/17 FOX Carolina) Protesters gathered in downtown Greenville. (8/26/17 FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Greenville police said a rally Saturday in downtown Greenville, where groups demonstrated in favor and against removing a Confederate monument sculpted in the 1800s, began and ended peacefully, and no one was arrested.

Activists with Fighting Injustice Together, among other community members, started protesting downtown at about 1 p.m. as Confederate monument supporters gathered nearby, separated by Greenville Police officers.

The purpose of the rally was to remove the Confederate monument at the Springwood Cemetery, activist Bruce Wilson said. Organizers say they plan to speak to Greenville City, County, government and state officials to have the monument removed.

“We will be reaching out to Rep. Gary E. Clary R-Clemson, Rep. Chandra Dillard, D-Greenville, and Senator Karl B. Allen D-Greenville in reference to supporting this movement and proactively working on changing laws and writing new legislation to get such monuments removed,” activist Travis Greene said.

Wilson  said he will write a letter to city council to move the monument off city property.

The commander of the Second Brigade SC Division Sons of Confederate Veterans group said their group also gathered around the monument "peacefully and respectfully not to advance any political agenda". He said the Sons of Confederate Veterans stood around the monument itself, but remained separate from both the protesters and the counter protesters that support the monument.

Commander Rollins Smith sent a statement to the FOX Carolina newsroom saying in part:  

"We are first and foremost a historical honour society dedicated to protecting and preserving the Confederate Soldiers good name, and fully support the Rule of Law. The Sons of Confederate Veterans condemns in the strongest possible way the actions of actions, words, and beliefs of ANY RACIST and/or HATE GROUPS."

For the first 90 minutes, protesters in favor of the monument stood by the monument with signs of support, and protesters who want the monument removed were kept on the opposite side. After the 90 minutes were up, police organized for the two groups of protesters to switch sides. At this time, the Sons of Confederate Veterans group prayed by the monument and left.

There was no reported violence during the event. Our FOX Carolina crew on scene said the event was peaceful.

PREVIOUSLY: Activist group announces peace rally to call for removal of Confederate monument in Greenville

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