Confederate rally planned in Austin, getting backlash

- The violence may have happened more than 1,000 miles away in Charlottesville, but the effects are being felt by Texans. White supremacist groups, marched on the streets of the Virginia City, carrying torches last weekend.

“That's reminiscent of the Ku Klux Klan. Whenever you see those torches held up at night, it takes your mind back,” said Giddings.

In the midst of this, white nationalist Richard Spencer planned to hold a White Lives Matter rally at Texas A and M. It was quickly canceled due to safety concerns.  Before it was canceled, State Rep. Helen Giddings of DeSoto, and fellow house members denounced Spencer while on the house floor.

“We will not tolerate bigotry and hate, and racism,” said Giddings.

But in Austin, a group called Texas Confederate Militia plans to hold a Dixie Freedom Rally Sept. 2. in Wooldridge Square. They do post that "racism in not tolerated”, but attendees can bring Confederate flags.

Kristina Brown with Counter Balance ATX, who works closely with Black Lives Matter, said the rally is unnecessary.

“If the organizers truly feel it's not a racist protest and it's not a racist rally, and it really is for southern pride, I would challenge them to cancel it,” said Brown.

Black Lives Matter Austin and a few other groups plan to counter protest. Brown says white allies are the ones who should show up in numbers.

“We've done more than our due diligence in this fight against white supremacy and I think it's time for white people and white liberals especially, to commit to standing against white supremacy,” said Brown.

As the country works on coming together, Charlottesville remains a reminder, that there is still much work to do.

“One of the things we cherish most is freedom of speech, but I think at some point we have to try and distinguish freedom of expression from a call to violence, “said Giddings.

Efforts to reach the Texas Confederate Militia were unsuccessful on Monday.
 

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