WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Advocates for the Confederate monument outside of the Wichita Falls Memorial Auditorium are gathering signatures for a petition to keep the monument as it is.
This comes after Black Lives Matter advocates gathered signatures for the removal of the monument on Monday.
Organizers of the event said they have gathered around 200—300 signatures on paper so far, and they have another 4,000 signatures for the petition online.
Organizers also said there has been no backlash from Black Lives Matter advocates, and representatives of BLM gave food and water for the event Saturday afternoon.
Those at Saturday’s gathering said they are appreciative of this gesture and are just glad that both sides can talk peacefully.
Among the supporters at the event were the Confederate Riders of America and Sons of Confederate Veterans.
“It’s heritage not hate,” organizer Stephen Hunt said. “We’re just here to protect our heritage and not spread hate. We welcome anybody on our side, Black Lives Matter, come up here, talk to us get to know us, get some of the information we had. You don’t have to sign the petition. Just come talk to us.”
Supporters have been at the auditorium since 8 a.m. and plan to be there until 8 p.m. or longer.
Wichita Falls City Councilors will discuss Confederate monuments in the area at their meeting on Monday.