Brief fight breaks out at peaceful protest in Brandon

Published: Aug. 22, 2020 at 12:38 PM CDT
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JACKSON, Miss. (WLBT) - “We come out here peacefully and you see what  happens? We’re not the ones causing trouble.”

Those words are from a member of Rankin County United for Change after a short fight was quickly broken up by police at a rally in front of the old courthouse on Government Street Friday evening.

According to witnesses, the clash came about when a counterprotester put a megaphone in the face of a protester and the two women tied up. Police were able to calm the melee and clear the scene without incident.

Rankin County United for Change was holding a rally to ask again that the confederate statue be moved to the Brandon Cemetery. Pastor Ava Harvey said they’re not asking the statue be destroyed, just moved.

“We’re here to say take it down, move it to the cemetery down the street. We have two governors in that same cemetery, so I don’t see what the big deal is. Just move it there,” he said.

Some counterprotesters like Toni Harrigill Whitlock say they feel like there's a political evolution that is silencing their voices and erasing their heritage.

“It’s all about the democrats. When Trump was running for president in 2016, you saw a lot of this type of thing going on across America, not to this degree, but it was bad,” she said.

And there were those at the rally who just want dialogue. Ashley Longmire says she was there to promote love and unity.

“We’re here to listen to each other. There are people here who are listening, and there are people who are not,” she said. “Everybody... You know, we really just want unity.”

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