Up to 200 mainly Black protesters, many of them heavily armed, marched on Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park on the Fourth of July holiday to demand that a giant Confederate carving be removed.
The nine-story-high rock relief, known as the Stone Mountain Confederate Memorial, depicts Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis, and Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson mounted on horseback.
The carving was commissioned by segregationist officials in Georgia in 1958 and completed in 1972, according to Reuters. It is the largest Confederate monument in the world.
Stone Mountain is a historic gathering spot for white supremacists, including the Ku Klux Klan, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Between 100 and 200 protesters descended on the park on Saturday to protest the carving, the AP reported, citing Stone Mountain Memorial Association spokesman John Bankhead.
Bankhead added that the protesters, many of whom were carried rifles, were peaceful. He also told local news channel 11Alive he has no issue with the demonstrators entering the exercise their free speech.
In Stone Mountain, Georgia earlier today pic.twitter.com/F2Autd4YtI
— Naomi (@naomiruta) July 4, 2020