Protesters Set to Clash at Travis Park Saturday Over Confederate Monument

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FACEBOOK VIA TRAVIS PARK / @TEXASPUNKRAWK
  • Facebook via Travis Park / @texaspunkrawk
The rumbling over removing Travis Park's Confederate memorial is about to come to a boil.

"Tonight, go through your weapons, do a weapons check before showing up," said Brandon Burkhart, a member of This Is Texas Freedom Force, in a Friday Facebook video. Known as TITFF, the local group is leading a Saturday afternoon protest against City Council's recent interest in removing the confederate statue from Travis Park. And they're prepared to fight.

"We will not stand quietly by while our Texas History is erased," reads the Facebook event's description. "We encourage any and all Texans to join us at Travis Park to send this stern message."

This is a specific response to a draft resolution submitted to city council July 31 by Councilmen Roberto Treviño and Cruz Shaw, to move the confederate monument to a new, undecided location. The move would join a recent movement across the South of cities removing confederate memorials and imagery from prominent city-owned properties, like New Orleans, which toppled four major confederate monuments in May.

Like many groups dedicated to protecting confederate memorials in the U.S., TITFF says removing the statue is akin to erasing U.S. history. "Those that do not understand history are doomed to repeat it," reads the group's event page.

Burkhart said he predicts there will be up to 1,000 protesters coming from across Texas tomorrow to protest the statue's removal. In the video, he encouraged attendees to bring homemade flagpoles to the event and confederate flags. TITFF will provide its own security for the 2 p.m. event. It's unclear what that'll look like.

Meanwhile, those who support the statue's removal have rallied to form a counter-protest at the exact same spot.

"History of white power belongs in a museum, not in the heart of our city," reads the description for the Facebook event organized by SATX4, an offshoot of the local Black Lives Matter movement. In a July protest in Travis Park, SATX4 member Mike Lowe called the monument “part of a heritage built on hate and the subjugation of black people."

The group expects a few hundred protesters to show up. Both protesting sides know getting the city council's attention is key to moving forward. Representatives from SATX4 and TITFF attended council meetings this past week to share their positions. It's unknown when Treviño and Shaw's resolution will officially go before council.

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