Memphis preparing for possible protest rally after removal of Confederate statues

MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The city of Memphis is preparing for a possible protest rally after Confederate statues were removed from the city last week.

A Facebook ground called “Confederate 901” announced plans for the rally on Facebook, according to WREG. It’s scheduled for Jan. 6. Memphis police told the TV station that they would be ready in the event of such a rally.

The Facebook page has more than 2,700 “likes” and is calling for people across the country to show their support. The group describes itself as “patriots who stand up for the constitution and freedom."

Last week, a private group funded by anonymous donations bought a pair of parks from the city and removed two Confederate statues that had come under fire. The group, Memphis Greenspace Inc., is headed by a county commissioner. The city sold the parks to sidestep a state law that makes it difficult to take down Confederate monuments on public land.

The statues were of Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest and Confederate President Jefferson Davis.

Memphis police said they were aware of the rally and have planned accordingly.

"We are prepared to keep the peace as we do with all rallies and protests," the department said in a statement to WREG. "We have not seen an application for a permit as required by the ordinance nor has anyone contacted our department to discuss plans."

A spokesperson for the city of Memphis said an application and fee must be submitted 14 business days before a scheduled event or three days for a protest if it’s a news event.

“Confederate 901” said in a message to the TV station that the group called to learn more about obtaining a permit and was told there was “no point” because “you are just being a nuisance.”

"I can't imagine that would be the response that would be given to any person calling our permits office,” said Ursula Madden with the city of Memphis. “We would certainly tell them what our ordinance says, and request that they comply with our laws.”