Tupelo Protests Go Off Without Problems

TUPELO (WCBI) – A day many feared would turn violent ended without major incidents as two groups on opposite ends of the spectrum held successful protests. Tupelo Mayor Jason Shelton says both the Our Lives Matter and the Confederate United Patriot Society demonstrations both held true to their word of keeping things peaceful .  Shelton said there were counter protestors at each event but officers quickly dispersed them and kept the opposing groups apart. The mayor says two outside groups with links to white supremacist groups did surface at the Confederate United Patriot rally but that the permit holders themselves asked them to leave .  Shelton says one of the unauthorized groups were apparently brought in by the A&E television network which is doing a documentary on the group.  Shelton says one marcher this morning was injured when she fell and cut her chin . One person at the afternoon rally was treated for heat related issues.  So far no citations or tickets were issued. He did say a fistfight broke out at the Ballard Park rally ironically between leaders of the two groups who did not have permission to be there .  Shelton also addressed why the state flag was replaced by the city flag during the demonstration at Fairpark. Shelton says he wants to stress unity and swapped flags during that gathering but says it has been put back in place.  In closing Shelton added the city will always support free speech and grant permits if they are obtained properly but says having divided gatherings like today do not help heal the city and urged people to attend a unity rally set for Wednesday night at 7 at the BancorpSouth arena.



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