This morning activists and community members converge for a demonstration against the rampant white racist violence in the United States and to call for the white community to stand in solidarity with the black community in the wake of the Charleston massacre.
The protest was held at the Hernando County Courthouse in Brooksville.
The Uhuru Solidarity Movement, ANSWER Suncoast, Florida Peace Action Network, the Party for Socialism and Liberation and other community organizers co-sponsored the demonstration.
This was one of hundreds of demonstrations occurring today throughout the U.S. where protestors planned to burn the Confederate flag.
The Brooksville demonstration was organized by mostly white activists as a statement against the long history of white complicity in anti-black terror going back to the early 1900s when Brooksville was the lynching capitol of Florida.
“Both the Confederate and the U.S. flags represent slavery, genocide and bloodshed. This country was built on the oppression of African people. White violence is as old as America itself. It is time white people to stand up and take responsibility for this history. Reparations for stolen black lives!” said one of the organizers, Jesse Nevel of the Uhuru Solidarity Movement, an organization of white people under the leadership of the African People’s Socialist Party that works in the white community for reparations to African people.
“The Confederate Flag is said by some Whites to represent the ’Rebel’ nature of the South, but to the African American community, this flag represents the horrors of slavery, systemic racism and legalized murder” said Hernando County organizer Bettejo Indelicato. Contingents from all over Florida traveled to Brooksville for the demonstration but were meet by a very large crowd.
Over 100 people stood on the steps of the Hernando County Court House this morning waiting for activists and community members to converge with plans to burn the Confederate Flag. Shortly after 11 am the activists arrived with 15 people but were stopped by hundreds of U.S. Supporters and defenders of the Confederate flag.
Before the activist came walking up, supporters encouraged everyone in attendance to refrain from violence saying they will try to make you do something stupid to prove a point.
One U.S supporter said “We will come around them with love, say the pledge of allegiance and if they strake one match, if they put one flame to either flag, they will be let known that it is time to leave our happy little town”. The supporters began singing patriot songs as the protesters arrived. It didn’t take long for the crowd to start chanting “Go Home”.
The large number of U.S. supporters kept the Uhuru Solidarity Movement flag burners moving which kept them from burning any flags on the court house steps.
The protesters eventually were pushed back to their vehicles where they were forced to leave.
Officers were on scene during the event in case things went south. Both groups kept the peace by using freedom of speech instead of violence.