Protesters Waved Confederate Flags, Chanted ‘Trump 2020’ At Early Voting Site In N.C.

A group of protesters waving Confederate flags and shouting “Trump 2020” showed up to an early voting site in North Carolina that was also holding a discussion about the removal of Confederate monuments, reports noted.

As WRAL reported, the group of protesters gathered outside the Chatham County Agriculture & Conference Center in Chatham County on Saturday morning. Inside the building, the groups Chatham For All and Abundance NC sponsored a panel discussion called “The Civil War Today,” and there was also voting for the state’s March 3 Democratic and Republican primaries.

The protesters reportedly arrived to demonstrate against the event, which was meant to spark a public discussion about the removal of Confederate monuments. But they also appeared to take a political tilt, with a video showing some shouting “Trump 2020.”

Chatham County has seen protests in the past related to efforts to remove Confederate statues. As the News & Observer reported last year, a controversial statue in downtown Pittsboro was removed in November after standing outside the city’s courthouse for 112 years. County officials said that a rising number of protests made it difficult and costly to continue protecting the statue. Between March and November of that year, the county spent more than $140,000 on security measures, the report added.

“Over the past three months, protests continued to escalate week by week, growing larger and more violent,” said Kara Dudley, the Chatham County public information officer.

The move was praised by many protesters and local residents, who said that the Confederate monuments need to come down to allow the community to heal.

“We as a society have to reconcile, at what point does the harm to a few outweigh the harm to many more,” said local resident Thomas Jones, who was one of many who gathered to watch the monument be taken down.

“I don’t think this is about taking down a monument to eradicate hate. It’s about taking down the pain that symbolizes these monuments. That pain exists on both sides…. I think this will help everyone take the next step forward.”

But as Saturday’s protest showed, there is still considerable controversy regarding the removal of these monuments — and it may have a strong connection to the upcoming presidential race. Trump has spoken out against the removal of Confederate statues and monuments, a stance that he reiterated even after the violent clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia, where white nationalist groups gathered to protest the removal of a statue.

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