Armed counter-protesters waving the Confederate flag gathered at the Cooke County Courthouse in Gainesville, Texas, on Sunday, as Black Lives Matter demonstrators called for the removal of a Confederate monument. Several BLM protesters were also seen carrying rifles.
"We're here to remove the racist monument in Gainesville, Texas, which is the 30-foot Confederate statue, said Quame Jones Jr. about the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument. Those who are pro-Confederate like to say it is heritage, and it represents their veterans. But that is not how it is received to people that look like me."
Anthony Chains, one of the counter-protesters, said, "You can't erase history. It's there, it's permanent." He added, "These are uneducated people who think they are being oppressed. Wake up, stop oppressing yourselves, you're not oppressed."
Dozens of heavily armed State Troopers and Sheriff Officers formed a human wall to keep the groups separated.
Several cities across the United States have been removing statues honouring Confederate generals and slave owners, as nation-wide protests reignited the debate around the issue following the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis in May.