JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Hours after the deadly Charlottesville, Virginia, attack that began as a white nationalist protest over plans to down a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee, a Jacksonville group campaigning to remove monuments honoring Confederate figures and slave owners gathered downtown.
The Take ‘Em Down Jax group called for an emergency rally Saturday night at the Jacksonville Landing to show solidarity with counterprotestors caught up in the violence in Virginia.
More than a dozen people held signs, chanted and marched around the statue of Andrew Jackson as a protest against racism.
One man said the tragedy that happened in Charlottesville could happen anywhere, but that doesn’t mean the fight to end racism has to stop.
“We have to come to grips with this evil that still exists in America," Wells Todd said. "We have to confront it. We have to expose it. We really need a truth and reconciliation council in this country, that’s what we really need. That’s never happened.”
Group organizers said they're planning an even bigger rally for 6 p.m. Sunday at Memorial Park in Riverside.
Ben Frazier, of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, issued a statement of solidarity with anti-racism protestors in Charlottesville.
"Unfortunately, white supremacists still supporting the symbols of racial hatred and still fighting a war that sought to enslave people because of the color of their skin," Frazier said in the statement. “Those Confederate monuments and memorials are symbols of hatred and racism that should not be celebrated or tolerated (in) public spaces. and public places."
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