A battle took place in Georgia on Saturday over the future of Confederate symbols in public spaces, resulting in arrests on both sides, CNN reports.
White supremacists gathered at Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb County, where images of Confederate leaders—Jefferson Davis and Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson—are carved into the granite mountain.
They called the rally “Rock Stone Mountain,” and held it two days prior to Georgia’s observance of Confederate Memorial Day.
John Estes, one of the organizers, told CNN that various White power groups came together to protest the removal of Confederate symbols and whittling away of Confederate history. They are also concerned about the effect of diversity on the existence of White people.
An anti-racism group held a counter demonstration, which appeared to outnumber the White supremacists by about 10 to 1, according to CNN.
Police officers wearing riot gear intervened when the anti-racism demonstrators got too close to the White power group. That’s when the counter-demonstrators threw rocks and fireworks at the police, CNN reported.
Authorities arrested eight of the anti-racism demonstrators. They reportedly wore bandanas over their faces—violating a law against face-coverings in public, the network said. The police also arrested a White power demonstrator who allegedly threw a smoke bomb at the officers.
This comes as the nation debates removing Confederate symbols from public places. A Confederate flag stands at the top of Stone Mountain, which civil rights groups in Georgia are pressing elected officials to bring down.
SOURCE: CNN | PHOTO CREDIT: Getty | VIDEO SOURCE: Inform