LAUREL, Miss. (WDAM) - A peaceful rally in Jones County Saturday brought two groups together.
What started off as a voter registration rally turned into a demonstration among U.S. Constitutional Right supporters.
“We had one group that was protecting the peaceful NAACP voting registration and then we had a group of gentlemen over here that was protecting the monument and there was some miscommunication had got out that wasn’t a part of the group,” said Frederick Chestnut, a U.S Constitutional Rights supporter.
The miscommunication had both groups carrying firearms.
“They told us that they were constitutionalist and they were here in support of the 2nd Amendment and we explained that our purpose was just to ensure that our women and our children were safe,” said Narsett Wilkins, anther U.S. Constitutional Rights supporter.
“The understanding came from them that we were here to tear down the statue, and no one is here to tear the statue down,” said Chestnut.
Toward the end of the voter rally, both groups came together for a peaceful discussion.
“The only way that you can end tribalism amongst human beings, is for me to get to know you and for you to get to know me,” said Wilkins.
“We are not here of any type of hate, segregation, violence, anything. We’re all Americans. We have to live on this planet together, we pass each other on the street every day,” said another rights supporter. “As you can see, we’re here getting along, we’re not here destroying, we’re not here shooting, we’re not here fighting. The rest of the country needs to take notice of this and get on board.”
“Every color has to matter cause we all have every color in our family,” said Chestnut. “Until we get to that point, we need to have some dialogue, we need to be able to agree, to disagree and have a sit-down and change cause if we can change Mississippi, we can change anywhere.”
Both groups say social media played a role in creating the miscommunication.