LOCAL PROTESTS CONTINUE A look into both sides

A protest was organized Saturday, Aug. 29 by Parker County Progressives at the Parker County courthouse as a continuation of their efforts to have the Confederate monument removed from the front of the courthouse. Counter-protesters lined the streets to show their support for the monument.

Statue honoring the Confederate Veterans of Parker County.

The monument is owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC). Protesters requested that the statue be removed and placed somewhere where people who's families fought for the Confederacy can still see it. The UDC agreed to move the statue when they had the funds but reversed that decision on Thursday, July 30, during a meeting at which the Parker County Commissioners voted unanimously to keep the statue in place.

One of the protest organizers and a member of Parker County Progressives, Tony Crawford argues with a counter-protester about the statue.

For the protesters, the statue represents an era of slavery and its public display is a constant reminder of the suffering of the past and the racism and bigotry of the present. Tony Crawford's family has lived in Weatherford since the 1850s. "My ancestors were lynched on this square," Crawford said. "You can say [the statue represents] fighting for your way of life, but what is your way of life? It includes the subjugation of human beings." He said he knows that the backlash will make it difficult for him to stay in his hometown if the statue is removed. "But my family will be able to hold their heads high. And that's what matters to me," Crawford said.

Counter-protester argues with protesters, separated by police tape, as tensions run high.

For the counter-protesters, the statue represents a long history of states' rights. "That soldier on top of that monument didn't own slaves and wasn't fighting for slavery," counter-protester Chris Webb said. "He was simply a young man trying to defend his home, his heart, his family, and his way of life, which was way beyond slavery." Webb's great great grandfather was a courier in the Confederate Army at the age of 15 and his family still visits the grave. "Tearing down this monument is like tearing down something that belongs to folks whose heritage does go back to the Confederacy," Webb said.

Police line the streets to keep peace between protesters and counter-protesters.
23-year-old Amara kneels during the playing of the national anthem.
A counter-protester in Confederate attire stands across the street from protesters.
A protester holds signs referencing a viral tweet of black medical students at Tulane standing in front of slave quarters at a Louisiana plantation.
A counter-protester carrying a Confederate flag waits for protesters to march in. Chants of "four more years," and insults rang out across the square.
A protester faces her sign toward cars driving past and counter-protesters across the street.
A counter-protester stands behind police tape, holding a "Don't Tread On Me" flag. Counter-protesters held Confederate, American, Trump and Blue Lives Matter flags.
A protester kneels during the playing of the national anthem.
A counter-protester holds signs depicting 5-year-old Cannon Hinnant and 13-year-old Ny'Ques Davis, who were both shot and killed earlier this year.
A protester kneels behind a Black Lives Matter shield during the playing of the national anthem.
Counter-protesters hold signs in support of keeping the statue up. Signs depicting police officers killed on duty line the street in front of them.


Olivia Caggiano