A week ago, the Dallas City Council voted to remove the Statue of General Robert E. Lee that sits on thee public green in Lee Park in Uptown. Within an hour of the vote, crews were on the scene ready to take down the statue. The swift action was, in part, an attempt to reduce the risk of the kind of protests that have accompanied Confederate monument removal attempts elsewhere, and particularly in Charlottesville, where a pro-Confederate rally member rammed his car into a crowd, killing a young woman. and injuring many others.
That backfired for a variety of reasons. And now, per a note sent by Dallas City Manager T.C. Broadnax to Dallas City Council members and posted on council member Scott Griggs’ Facebook page, the armed protesters are on their way:
I am aware that you are receiving questions and are inundated with media requests regarding the removal. This is a priority for Staff and we continue to utilize all resources available to ensure the safe removal of the Robert E. Lee statue. We will have more concrete information on the removal within several days. I have attached a list of questions and answers related to the monument removal for your reference. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly. . . .
The Dallas Police Department (DPD) is preparing for a rally on Saturday, September 16th regarding the confederate statues. The organizer, Mr. Beverly, has been cooperative and is working with DPD Intelligence Unit Detectives regarding rally logistics. Although preliminary, Mr. Beverly has stated that his group will hold the rally in Lee Park sometime around midday on Saturday and the estimated crowd of 200 will also be armed as they are a pro-open carry group. The organizer is stressing that this is a peaceful event, and is working with DPD.
As always, DPD will not interfere with a lawful and peaceful assembly of any individuals or groups expressing their first amendment rights but will take enforcement action if any type of criminal offense is committed against any person or property. Enforcement action will also be taken if demonstrators illegally impede traffic in the roadway or attempt to shut down a freeway. The safety of our officers and citizens is the primary concern as individuals or groups gather to express their first amendment rights. DPD will provide further updates as we get closer to the event. Should you have any questions or concerns, please contact Assistant City Manager, Jon Fortune.