Protest & Rally planned at Madison County Courthouse on Saturday

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. –  The Confederate monument in front of the Madison County Courthouse has been a dividing issue for years. It's been there since 1905. Today, many people are for keeping it in place; while others want it removed.

On Saturday a local group is hosting a rally in support of the statue, while another group plans to protest.

WHNT asked Mayor Tommy Battle his thoughts on the protest.  "You`re going to learn that some people have different opinions than you do. And if you have different opinions, you've still got to learn that you have to respect those opinions," Mayor Tommy Battle explained.

Mayor Battle said he hopes everyone who shows up on Saturday will be respectful of one another. "Respect each others feelings, respect others thoughts, and if everybody is respectful of each other we all learn we can all get along," Mayor Battle said.

The Huntsville Police Department will be on scene. "We have a lot of demonstrations throughout the year. People want their viewpoint to be heard or want the public to see or feel the things they do. That`s something we encourage, that`s a constitutional right everyone has," Lieutenant Stacy Bates said.

Lt. Bates said as long as everyone follows the law everything should be fine. "If we respect each others opinions, respect each others ideas, then I think we will get along. We will go a long way in life without getting side tracked on a lot of other issues," Mayor Battle explained.

Both groups plan to be at the courthouse at 1 p.m. Huntsville Police want to remind everyone attending they can't carry a firearm. Under state law, it's unlawful for anyone to have a firearm on them, or in their vehicle while attending or participating in any demonstration on public property.

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