Wake County News

Opposing groups on Confederate monument issue square off in Raleigh

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) -- On Saturday, two groups came out to the North Carolina State Capitol. 

One side supported the Confederacy, while the other spoke out against it.

It was the second weekend in a row in the Triangle that groups at odds over the issue protested.

"Anti-racists and anti-fascists are here, and we're loud," said Skye McCollum with Smash Racism Raleigh.

This was the message by the group as dozens marched around the capitol, speaking out against the Sons of Confederate Veterans and Confederate monuments.

"Those that supported the Confederacy supported millions of black people in bondage," Enzo Moretti with Smash Racism Raleigh said. "When we have Confederate monuments on the capitol grounds, of the state, that's sort of cluing that black people and other oppressed aren't meant to be represented here in North Carolina." 

Members of the Sons of Confederate Veterans told CBS 17 they were at the state capitol for an event.

"It's history," Confederate supporter David Gregory said of the Confederacy and Confederate monuments on the state capitol grounds. "It's part of history. We can always learn from it."

Robert Masters with the Sons of Confederate Veterans gathered to honor their past. Masters said he supports the Confederate monuments on the capitol grounds. 

"There's no sense in anybody trying to destroy history, you can't change history," Masters said. "I don't like anybody to be offended by them [the monuments]. But, I don't think, from a historical context, they should be offended. Nobody's saying we're going to re-fight the Civil War."

In August 2018 a state commission said a 2015 North Carolina law left them unable to recommend moving the Confederate monuments from the capitol grounds.

Meanwhile, both sides will continue spreading their message.

"We want Raleigh to be a place that's opening and accepting and welcome, for people of all creeds, all colors and everyone," McCollum said. 

"We need to educate [and] explain to people what we're all about, and what history's about," Masters said. 

Organizers with Smash Racism Raleigh said they plan to keep coming out until the statues are removed from the capitol grounds. 

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