OXFORD — Multiple political groups converged downtown Saturday to march in defense of Confederate monuments in the city and on the campus of the University of Mississippi, as well as to celebrate Confederate iconography.
At the peak of the rally, approximately 100 pro-Confederate protesters congregated on The Square, joined by about 50 counter-protesters. In addition, members of the Ole Miss basketball team, which was playing a 2:30 p.m. game against Georgia on campus, took a knee during the National Anthem as a protest against the pro-Confederate rally.
The event went off without any violence or serious confrontation, as protesters marched from The Square, which houses a monument to fallen Confederate soldiers, to The Circle on Ole Miss’ campus, where another monument is located.
K-Rack Johnson with Confederate 901 explained the march was organized in response to a protest Students Against Social Injustice held in November advocating for the removal of these Confederate monuments.
“It represents our ancestors,” Johnson said. “It represents all the dead Confederate soldiers that are buried out in these trenches throughout this country that don’t even have markings where they’re buried. That’s what those monuments represent. Those monuments are for closure.”
Counter-protesters see the monuments differently. Kate Gluckman attended the protests carrying a sign that read “A Heritage of Hate is Nothing to Celebrate.” Gluckman works for an after-school organization called the Sunflower County Freedom Project in Cleveland that helps students get into colleges.