Demonstrators Gather in Sam Houston Park

UPDATE:  About 100 Black Lives Matter protesters marched on Sam Houston Park Saturday afternoon to call for the removal of the 109-year old "Spirit of the Confederacy" statue. It's the latest in a series of demonstrations around the nation about the proper place for confederate memorials.

More than a dozen counter-demonstrators also showed up, some carrying confederate flags.  Houston police erected barriers to keep the groups apart.  One counter-protester was told to leave when he tried to cross the line.  

Both demonstrations were otherwise peaceful.  We are awaiting an update from Houston police.

A Black Lives Matter protest is scheduled this afternoon in Houston, calling for the removal of the “Spirit of the Confederacy” statue, which has stood in Sam Houston Park since 1908.

In the wake of last weekend’s violence in Charlottesville, Virginia there is a heavy police presence in the area, and the park has been closed.  At a press conference, Houston Police Chief Art Acevedo says, “we will have sufficient resources at the event to ensure that anyone who shows up, with whatever point of view they have, they can exercise their rights in a safe environment.”

While both organizers and counter-demonstrators insist they will be protesting peacefully, they have recommended that participants leave their children at home.

Similar demonstrations are taking part around the country.  In Boston, thousands protesters and counter-demonstrators created some tense moments as they shouted one another down.  Eight people were arrested.

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