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Intense moments erupt at Murfreesboro protest to remove Confederate statue

Posted at 10:22 PM, Jun 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-20 23:22:49-04

MURFREESBORO, Tenn (WTVF) — People across the county and right here in Middle Tennessee are fighting to remove the images of confederate monuments and statues.

A protest in Murfreesboro Saturday drew some intense moments from those who were there for and against the statue.

A new petition, with several thousand signatures, is calling for a Confederate statue known as the “Guardians of Peace” on the Rutherford County Square to be taken down and relocated to a cemetery or museum.

It was erected in 1901 by the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Ladies Memorial Association.

More than a hundred people showed up at the square to talk about the removal of the statue and other Confederate plaques on the courthouse property.

Organizers say it was also about saying Black lives matter and putting an end to systemic racism.

“I’m just here standing in solidarity with my friends to protest this statue,” said Jennifer Mayeaux, “I don’t think that’s right and I think just about everybody here doesn’t think that’s right.”

Mayeaux says now is the best time to have these conversations on removing Confederate images from public places.

“We’re just here to make our voices known, stand in solidarity and tear this monstrosity down,” she said, “I believe we’re in a divine season of exposure, of revelation, of apocalypse with everything that’s being unmasked.”

However, not everyone who showed up was in favor of the removal of the monuments.

“This is my town, this is where I live and I’m all for freedom of speech; I’m all for people to exercise their first amendment rights down here protesting. Unfortunately, what happens is everybody sees their side of it and most people like us don’t show up to this type of things to oppose, and give our beliefs and our feelings about these things,” said Andrew Olsen.

Olsen said he and others showed up to let people know this isn’t the only side.

"I don’t look at this as a race issue at all; I look at this as an agenda by certain people that headed this protest up and they want to try to erase our history. They want to try to do away with our values and the American way,” Olsen said.

Some violence erupted between protesters and counter protesters and things turned physical.

People started pushing and shoving and law enforcement had to to intervene.

No one was arrested.