ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A clash between protestors and counter-protestors in the streets of downtown St. Augustine on Saturday landed two men in jail.
The altercation that involved dueling groups centered around Flagler Board of Trustees member Mark Bailey. Protestors are calling this weekend for Bailey’s resignation after he opposed the removal of the Confederate monument that used to stand in the city’s square.
St. Augustine police deemed the protests unlawful and arrested two people.
A fight broke out towards the end and in an Instagram video, someone is heard saying “don’t touch me.”
The two men who were arrested face battery and disorderly conduct charges.
Protesters, led by Rev. Ron Rawls, said Mark Bailey “attempted to abuse his wealth to preserve a racist symbol in our town of St. Augustine.”
Bailey supporters staged a counter-protest.
Back in July, Bailey sent a letter to city commissioners asking that instead of spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to move the monument, they should use that money to complete an infrastructure project in West Augustine.
Bailey promised to put some of his own money behind that project.
Even though the monument has already been moved, it was a continuing call by protestors for Bailey’s resignation.
In an email to the St. Augustine Record Bailey said he wants to make it clear that while he appreciates those who recognize his service to the community, he does not sympathize with any hate group.
“We completely and unequivocally condemn white supremacy and racism in any form,” Bailey said. “I sincerely apologize to any individual that was the target of violence or any hateful and racist comments.”
Flagler College has not publicly issued a statement regarding the protests, nor Mr. Bailey’s position on the board of trustees.