DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Demonstrators gathered for hours Saturday in Lee Park in Dallas, where the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee used to stand.
The demonstration started with Amazing Grace and a procession to place flowers on the empty pedestal where the statue stood. Organizers said they saw the event as a memorial service to the statue.
American, Confederate and Texas flags were waved as demonstrators took positions around the area where the statue stood for decades.
They vowed this wasn’t the end of their fight – but the beginning.
“It’s even more reason to have a rally because that statue is not there, and that should be a reality for you right there,” said Robert Beverly with the group Texas Freedom Force.
Demonstrators focused on current leaders responsible for the decision to remove the statue and removing those leaders from office.
Mayor Mike Rawlings was the target of most of the criticism from the crowd.
“I do know, and what I believe, is that any monument that is removed should be done pursuant to the will of the people. And not the rule of law,” said demonstrator Jeffrey Myers. “Not the knee jerk, reactionary, spineless and self-servicing efforts of politicians.”
The gathering was calm, aside from a single counter-demonstrator climbing the steps to wave a white flag and yelling, “You guys are traitors. Robert E. Lee was a traitor.”
Minutes later, that same man got into a scuffle away from the main crowd, and was arrested by police for disorderly conduct.