HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - As marches take place around the country, demonstrations also took place in the Tennessee Valley Saturday.
The Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance, SURJ - Huntsville, and the North Alabama Democratic Socialists of America organized a protest in solidarity with the Movement for Black Lives. They spoke out against racism, white supremacy, and Confederate monuments at the Madison County Courthouse steps Saturday beneath a Confederate monument.
They held the demonstration near the Confederate monument at the Madison County Courthouse steps.
The monument has been there since 1905, erected by the Daughters of the Confederacy in honor of Confederate veterans.
The protestors want it removed, and some said they would be satisfied seeing it moved to a museum.
"I want it down," said one demonstrator. "We can put it in a museum, that's fine. But nothing past a museum." He added, "We cannot tolerate white supremacy in Huntsville."
"The South lost," said Crow of the monument. "We need to get over it and quit pushing these symbols that are offensive to people. We need to support each other and love each other."
Huntsville Police and the Madison County Sheriff's Office had multiple units on-scene in case things got out of hand. There were only a few incidents, said officers, but they were quickly handled without violence.
Counterprotesters also gathered among the crowd, some shouting opposition to the beliefs and signs of the protesters. At times, the tension was evident.
Authorities said the protestors had the proper permits to be present. They moved any counterprotesters who were being "rowdy" across the street, where they stood for the remainder of the protest.
One man, Junior Jordan, came to the event to stand next to the monument in question. He said he wanted to keep it where it was in honor of history and his ancestors who fought in the Civil War.
"There are monuments around the country. It's all history," he said, "Nobody should be able to take down history." He added, "They fought for what they believed in, and it all wasn't about slavery."
He was not violent, and at the end of the protest, he shook hands with some of those gathered to oppose the monument.
Protestors say they want to preserve love in the community and make Huntsville more inclusive. They began with a moment of silence in honor of Heather Heyer, who died in Charlottesville, VA last weekend.
"I would like for us to continue fighting for what is right and what is really following Christ, which is love and acceptance," said demonstrator Didi Crow.