After monument to early Klan leader comes down, neo-Confederate group plans rally in Memphis

​The statue has come down and the Memphis park where Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest is buried has been sold to a private organization.

Now, a neo-Confederate group plans to take to the streets to protest both moves.

The group, called Confederate 901, is aiming to hold a “Rally for Forrest” in Memphis on Saturday, January 6.

How large the rally will be remains something of a mystery, as the city hasn’t issued permits and Confederate 901 appears to be a relatively recently-formed group.

Confederate 901 has promised online to drive through Memphis with Confederate flags waving from the backs of trucks to draw attention to the removal of the statue.

But, others, such as Billy Roper, a neo-Nazi from Arkansas, and lesser-known groups such as Southern Individualist, the Hiwaymen, Freedom Crew and Carolina Defenders, are promoting the rally and pledging publicly to be there.

“On Saturday, January 6, in Memphis, there will be a true manifestation, a very real showing forth,” Roper wrote in a recent blog. “And we’re not coming for your cookies.”

Plans posted online call for two parts to the rally: Some pro-Confederate groups will go to the Health Sciences Park, where the Forrest statue used to stand, while others will meet at the welcome center and Tom Lee Park near the Mississippi River.

A group organizing on Facebook, called Resist the Racists, plan to hold a counter-protest at the same time.

“Our intent is to bear witness, not to provoke confrontation,” organizer Charles Belenky wrote.

The statue came down after the city of Memphis reached a deal to sell the park to a group called Memphis Greenspace, which then removed the monument and stashed it at an undisclosed location.

The protest is the latest as Confederate statutes and monuments have come down around the country.

In New Orleans, protestors rallied around the base of statues to Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard and President Jefferson Davis before and after the monuments were removed.

And, in Charlottesville, Virginia, a rally initially aimed at protesting the removal of a statue of Lee turned deadly in August. A 20-year-old Ohio man, James Alex Fields, Jr., is charged with murder, accused of gunning his car into a crowd of counter-protestors and killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

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