OXFORD, Miss. (WCBI)- Amidst the heavy rainfall, hundreds of protesters gathered on the University of Mississippi’s campus Friday evening for an anti-confederate rally.
Students over statues.
That was the message protesters sent during their protest as they try to bring about a big change on campus at Ole Miss.
The student organization, Students Against Social Injustice, led the peaceful protest.
People stood with their umbrellas and signs in tact as they try to bring about a big change at the university.
“Our message is the same thing that we’ve been saying for the past two years regarding our campaign,” said Jared Foster, a junior at Ole Miss and a member of Students Against Social Injustice. “SASI is here to pressure administration, to advocate for the removal and relocation of all Confederate memorabilia on this campus, as well as the implementation of a hate speech policy.”
In particular, the peaceful protest was aimed towards the removal of a Confederate statue that’s stood tall on University Circle for more than a century.
“Keeping that is being complicit in racism and in those false ideas that they say they don’t align with, and that SASI is saying we should not align with and we should definitely take it down because of that,” said Taia McAffee, a junior at Ole Miss and a member of Students Against Social Injustice.
For years SASI has been advocating for the removal of the statue.
Several students believe the Confederate emblem gives the university a bad look, that’s why hundreds of protesters are working so hard to see it come down.
“There’s a lot of things people are doing, a lot of behind-the-scenes work they are doing to make reconciliation better on campus, but as far as that statue, it’s that one thing that people have to pass that other students that may be racist on campus, or people like the people coming tomorrow, they get to use that for their defense,” McAffee expressed.
“They re-contextualized it because they know that it’s problematic, but that’s not enough, they need to move it,” said Foster. “Our campus is not a museum.”
Earlier this month the organization met with administration about the statue coming down.
Now SASI is awaiting their next meeting with university leaders to discuss what the end result is going to be.
However, some students said they’re not taking no for an answer.
Instead they’re going to continue protesting and voicing their concerns until the statue and all other Confederate emblems on campus are removed.
“It’s going to happen,” said McAffee. “I’m confident it’s going to happen this semester because so many people have gotten behind it.
Friday marked the first of multiple protests taking place in Oxford this weekend.
Two neo-confederate groups, Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen, have planned a rally in Oxford on Saturday in hopes of getting school administrators to keep the statue where it is.
SASI said their protest on Friday was not in retaliation to what’s taking place on Saturday.