A Facebook post for a protest dubbed “Destroy the Confederacy” at Sam Houston Park in Houston on Saturday warns “*Do NOT bring children.” A group “committed to protecting Texas and Texas History,” “This Is Texas Freedom Force” (TITFF), says demonstrators plan to tear down a Confederate statue. They also warn there will be violence.
The promoters of the protest tell potential attendees: “We will meet at Sam Houston Park (right in front of Houston City hall) to demand that the City of Houston ERASE THE CONFEDERACY! It is a STAIN IN THE FABRIC of our history that needs to be removed.”
Another part of the post says – “*Do NOT bring children.”
One of the organizers of the event, Black Lives Matter of Houston, tells protesters to meet at the “Spirit of the Confederacy Statute” at Sam Houston Park.
SURJ HTX says it is “focused on organizing white people for racial justice.” Its Facebook cover says, “WHITE PEOPLE: WHAT WILL YOU DO TO CHANGE YOUR LEGACY OF VIOLENCE?” Woods says his “work is centered around specific issues of Blackness, Race, Gender, Sexuality, HIV-AIDS, White Supremacy,” and other causes.
On Wednesday afternoon, Black Lives Matter: Houston shared “This is Texas Freedom Force’s live video” stating, “THE WHITE SUPREMACISTS HAVE PUT OUT A CALL TO COUNTER PROTEST OUR EVENT THIS SATURDAY. #BLMHOU WILL NOT BE INTIMIDATED BY THESE RACISTS & BIGOTS.”
The speaker on the TITFF video, Mel Bone, called the protesters “the opposition” and said, “they want to tear down a monument in Houston, Texas.”
Standing in front of a Texas and a “Liberty or Death” flag, the TITFF leader, tells viewers, “They are going there not to have a rally, not to have anything like that, but they are going there to actually destroy this statute, this Confederate monument that is there.”
Bone said TITFF is not going to the protest as a group, but members of his group will be there. The organization attended a “Save The Confederate Monument” event in San Antonio last weekend, and they are restricted by time and financial resources. Bone said he made Three Percenters, patriot, and militia groups aware of the event and warns “there is a high potential for violence at this rally.”
The TITFF leader added, “There has been a hit out on my life personally” and “I can only laugh about it – just simply because, you know – it’s the left.” Bone says he is not underestimating the threat but adds, “we are taking measures to ensure that nothing does take place.” He later says, “I don’t think you are gonna like what you will find if you do find me.” Law enforcement officials, including the Texas Rangers and the FBI, have been notified about the threat.
Bone says his group does not promote or start violence but “We will defend ourselves to the fullest extent of the law and you can guarantee that.” He said they denounced the racists organizations, not the patriots, in Virginia because “racists are not patriots” and are doing “more harm than good to the cause.”
There have been cries by groups to have the “Spirit of the Confederacy” monument in Sam Houston Park removed.
Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner responded Tuesday at the city council meeting that he was asking for a study on whether Confederate statues should be removed from city property, reported Houston Public Media.
Houston is named after General Sam Houston, the leader at the Battle of San Jacinto which ended the Texas Revolution. General Houston became the president of the Republic of Texas and then governor. He was removed from office when he would not swear allegiance to the Confederacy but he was a slave owner.