BRADENTON, Fla. - The Civil War’s been over for more than 150 years. But, the battle for what it means is raging in American streets as people fight to take have them taken down, while others fight to keep them where they are.
“They don't need to go down there's a lot of blacks and whites that fought together that is when we had unity,” Pat Frasier said.
Yelling, screaming, and at times a little bit of shoving kept tensions at the rally high. Groups came out to protect the monument while others came out to voice their anger towards it.
“A few years again we tried to have something done about the monument but it didn't have the national attention it does now,” Gregory Cruz said. “So, we figured with the national attention after the Charlottesville incident this would be a good time to reignite our fight to have it removed.”
Manatee deputies arrested three people for disturbing the peace. One protester was arrested after he ripped up a rival group's flag and swung his American flag into their posters. Despite the screaming and groups staring each other down, there was no violence and no one injured.
“We can discuss our differences and stay peaceful,” Loren Lasseter said.
Manatee County Commissioners voted to keep the statue where it is and cover it with plywood to protect it from vandals. Protesters we spoke to said removing the statue is a new movement and they aren’t going anywhere.
“National momentum and national attention is on these monuments so we need to take advantage of that momentum,” Carrington Cox said.