A group of armed civilians from pro-confederate militias This is Texas Freedom Force and the Alamo Militia have appeared at the Travis Park hearings regarding the removal of a confederate statue in San Antonio, TX
Around 10 individuals calling themselves “protectors of the confederacy” appeared at the site of the hot debate regarding whether or not to remove a confederate statue in the center of Travis Park in San Antonio, Texas. The protectors were reported to be wearing kevlar bulletproof vests and armed with assault rifles.
This event comes on the heels of a violent weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia where a white supremacist rammed his car into a crowd of protesters at a white supremacist rally, killing 1 and injuring 19 others which re-ignited the debate over the removal of confederate statues erected during the days of Jim Crow law.
The statue in San Antonio is of a confederate soldier atop a large obelisk, seemingly glorifying what it meant to be in the confederate army, aka the “rebel army”, during the civil war.
Militias arrive to the hearings to escort Vice President Brandon Burkhart of This Is Texas Freedom Force, a Texas militia dedicated to preserving confederate history. Burkhart addressed Councilmen Roberto Treviño of District 1 and William Shaw of District 2, saying
“I’m going to address you guys again, especially you two, Shaw and Treviño. Do you guys see the problems that you’re causing? Do you know the death threats that I’ve received? A lot of Texans are watching. We are prepared to move forward with a recall for you Treviño, you Shaw if need be, because we are not going to stand by and let you remove a monument that represents veterans, not race. We have threats on my life, we have threats on a few of our members’ lives that said they were going to shoot us tonight when we came here to speak. They’re trying to silence me, which is not going to work. We will come armed every time and we will come with even bigger armaments if we have to. If we have to bring a bigger security team with us, we will.”
However, the Councilmen told reporters that they would not be swayed by intimidation tactics.
“I think it’s sad that somebody feels that they have to make an argument by instilling fear first into the conversation,” said councilman Treviño. “I think it’s unfortunate that they would do it like that.”
“Using guns or threats of violence doesn’t solve anything,” said councilman Shaw. “Like I said before: this is about an opportunity for the city to come together to … discuss peacefully. When you bring guns to an event, that doesn’t express peace. That’s violence, and San Antonio is better than that.”
Trevino also said there were a lot of “poorly informed folks”.
“There are a lot of poorly informed folks. There are folks that think it’s Travis up on that statue. Now we hear that somebody thinks it’s Robert E. Lee. We really speak to this in terms of educational opportunity to make sure that we’re doing history justice.”
“I think it’s an opportunity for us to have a continued dialogue and to learn from each other. That’s what’s happening right now. I think both myself and Councilman Treviño are very sincere. We’re not doing anything out of hate or out of despise, we’re doing it because we care about San Antonio.”