Thousands of people have attended a peaceful rally against white supremacism in Dallas. The event was marred by scuffles with supporters of a Confederate monument at Pioneer Park Cemetery. Dozens of protesters are defying police orders to disperse.
Dallas police have warned the remaining protesters to disperse or potentially face arrest after the rally ended and the majority of participants went home.
Earlier, police on horseback and others in riot gear had to intervene to break up the sides protecting and opposing the confederate monument. Although some protesters on both sides were armed, there were no reports of injuries.
The scuffle at the civil war cemetery occurred as a 2,300-strong peaceful rally at nearby City Hall plaza was ending.
Amid the pushing and shoving, a helicopter could be seen circling above. At one point, officers pulled four pro-monument activists over a barrier for their protection, AP reported. The report added that weapons were present in the crowd but there was no indication of shots fired.
Dallas authorities managed to maintain order between the two opposing protest camps which rallied throughout the city Saturday, divided over the white supremacy tensions in the country and the removal of Confederate Monuments from public spaces.
Two dozen Texas state troopers guard Dallas’ Confederate War Memorial as a rally against it and counter protest set to begin at 7:30p. pic.twitter.com/oAJTOlnqFl
— Jason Whitely (@JasonWhitely) August 19, 2017
Over two thousands activists descended on downtown Dallas, calling for an end to Dallas’ Confederate memorials. Gathering outside City Hall and the nearby Confederate War Memorial, activists denounced the Confederate symbols in the city.
Armed militia group standing watch before 7:30 rally against White Supremacy at Dallas City Plaza. Standing near Confederate Memorial pic.twitter.com/jfcNqGK7fT
— Maria Guerrero (@Maria_NBC5) August 19, 2017
“March against Hate,”“Thanks Trump, You made me into an activist,” “Make America whole again,” the activists shouted demanding that Dallas’ Confederate memorials come down.
The crowd was met by a counter rally which demanded the monuments be left intact. Amid the shouting and shoving, the crowds managed to avoid major clashes and injuries.
Saturday’s rally was one of many across the US that was organized in response to last week’s deadly assault in Charlottesville that was sparked after the city made plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.