Organizers say a rally and march set to take place in downtown Austin at the beginning of September will promote “true Confederate heritage.”
A Facebook event page hosted by the Texas Confederate Militia says the Dixie Freedom Rally, scheduled for Sept. 2 at Woolridge Square, 900 Guadalupe Street, will feature live music, guest speakers and a march to the capitol and Confederate monuments nearby.
“You can bring any Confederate or U.S. Flag. It is open carry and also concealed handguns plus longrifles are permitted. Just go by the state law,” the page said. “No racism tolerated or (you) will be removed. (Let’s) show everyone true Southern hospitality.”
So far, 21 Facebook users said they planned to attend, and another 152 were interested in attending.
The event comes amid a nationwide outcry against white supremacist groups and other organizations that glorify the Confederacy after a “Unite the Right” rally in Chalottesville, Virginia, erupted in violence Saturday.
Activists have scheduled a counterprotest for the event. More than 750 Facebook users have said they will attend, and more than 2,000 have expressed interest in going.
“Although its organizers will claim otherwise, this event is predicated on white supremacy; racism is intrinsic to any event glorifying the Confederacy,” the counterprotest page said. “Not only do such events often galvanize their attendees to (commit) individual or mass street violence, they also build parties and organizations that have a political program of systemic oppression (e.g., racist and fascist groups often recruit and organize at these events).”
A unity march and concert featuring the Latin Grammy-nominated Voz de Mando is scheduled for the same day at the capitol.
“We’re bringing together Texas’ diverse communities of color with a free concert and march to show lawmakers that we are powerful, that we are united and that we will fight against SB4 and all attacks on our community,” the event’s Facebook page reads.
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