Black Lives Matter Activists Confront ‘Southern Heritage’ Rally in Washington, DC

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Washington DC – Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement activists and supporters confronted a White Supremacy Southern Heritage group which rallied at Upper Senate Park next to the U.S. Capitol Saturday, September 5. The White Supremacist group displayed two dozen Confederate flags while BLM activists held signs reading “Smash Racism and Bigotry,” “White Supremacists Go Home” and “End The Confederacy.” U.S. Capitol Police officers formed a 200-foot barrier around the white supremacist group during the demonstration.

In spite of police presence, angry clashes between white supremacists and counter-protesters nevertheless erupted as latecomers tried to join the rally. BLM activists confronted them as police intervened. They urged Capitol Police to remove the Supremacists, but police said they held a valid protest permit.

At issue was the Confederate flag display and the racist symbolism it represents, said a Black Lives Matter organizer who did not identify herself.

State sanctioned recognition of the Confederate flag was a central issue in South Carolina as the BLM movement built on its growing energy to change dialogue there and force the South Carolina State Senate to revisit a law permitting the flag to fly above the Capitol.

21149702866_891aa21fb0_zBlack Lives Matter activists are partially credited with changing the political climate in South Carolina and forcing removal of the flag on July 10th not long after white supremacist Dylann Roof shot nine people at a Bible study in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church. The South Carolina Senate voted 37–3 to remove the flag.

BLM organizers are also forcing dialogues about demilitarizing police and changing the police practice of racial profiling.

The Black Lives Matter movement was born last August after Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson shot Michael Brown, an unarmed Black youth, and left his body on the street over four hours. BLM Movement energy has grown with each recorded police shooting of unarmed Blacks into a national uprising.

As White Supremacist demonstrators left Upper Senate Park, they also left the protective jurisdiction of U.S. Capitol Police. They walked into District Police jurisdiction, which are typically much less restrictive and BLM activists confronted them as they walked to Union Station. (See video)

Though police formed a cordon, BLM closely followed Supremacists to Union Station where skirmishes ensued. Once inside DC Police tried to separate groups but clashes broke out and continued throughout Union Station, where several Confederate flags were seized and torn.

There were no arrests or injuries reported.

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John Zangas is a journalist, photographer and contributor to Revolution News. Follow him on Twitter @johnzangas