FORREST COUNTY, MS (WDAM) - A protest against a state holiday was held Monday outside the Forrest County courthouse.
The protest was against the Confederate Memorial Day celebrated by city and county officials in both Mississippi and Alabama.
Mississippi and Alabama celebrate Confederate Memorial Day to commemorate the Southern soldiers that fought and died trying to secede from the U.S. Over 150 years after the Confederate surrender, state government offices in both states closed on Monday to pay homage.
While many states continue to observe the holiday, Mississippi and Alabama are the only two remaining state governments that recognize it. In 2015, Georgia dropped the Confederate reference in the holiday's name.
Protesters held signs on the courthouse steps to rally against the holiday.
The circuit courthouse was closed in observation of the state holiday. Also the justice courthouse and the chancery courthouse.
"This is another passive aggressive attempt at our state to try and put people in their place," said Brandiilyne Dear, a protester. "This is not my heritage and I don't want to honor it and I don't want to celebrate it because this heritage brings harm to a large part of our state. "
Another protester echoed Dear's thoughts.
"This is a White supremacist holiday, this is taxpayer money for people to have a day off, people who could have taken off today who may not have a lot of resources," said Anna Beth Roe. "What if you needed to access this court today and it's closed for a racist holiday? It stands for history that we need to forget and to move past."
The Sons of Confederate Veterans Group issued the following statement regarding the protest: