PALATKA, Fla. – Protesters representing the Black Lives Matter movement and Patriots Unite gathered Saturday in front of the Putnam County Courthouse to voice their opposing opinions on a Confederate statue.
The young organizers of the BLM protest said they think the courthouse is the wrong place for the statue.
“We feel it is a symbol of divisiveness and it does not belong at a place on the steps of justice,” said Tevel Adams.
The group is asking that the memorial statue be moved to a local cemetery where dozens of Confederate soldiers are buried.
“A symbol of hate, a symbol of oppression toward the African-American community… should not be in front of a place where justice for all occurs,” organizer Dar’nesha Leonard said.
Adams said pastors, student activists and political candidates joined the protest Saturday.
The group also registered people to vote and helped them to complete the 2020 Census.
The Patriots Unite group also gathered to counterprotest the statue’s removal and the BLM movement.
One woman who said she was a ninth generation Daughter of the Confederacy and a Desert Storm combat veteran said her family has served in every war and she doesn’t think her heritage should have to come down.
“If you don’t like it here, move out of the South,” she said. “This is what the south is about is standing on the freedoms our forefathers gave us.”