City prepares for possible ‘Confederate 901’ rally

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A week after Confederate statues were taken down in Memphis the city is preparing for the possibility of a protest rally.

A Facebook group called 'Confederate 901' is promoting a demonstration next weekend on Jan. 6.

It seems to be gaining some traction on social media.

If plans go according to the post, the protest will be next Saturday.

Memphis Police told WREG they'll be ready.

As a taller fence goes up around the spot where former Confederate statue Nathan Bedford Forrest once stood, discussion is brewing on Facebook.

A page called 'Confederate 901' with more than 2,700 'likes' is calling for people across the nation to meet in Confederate support.

The about section of the page says, "Confederate 901' is a group of patriots who stand up for the constitution and freedom. If those are breached we will come to you, by the millions."

It's unclear who made the page.

Lee Millar, spokesperson with the Sons of Confederate Veterans, has been outspoken against the removal of statues and sale of the parks in the medical district and downtown to private group Memphis Greenspace.

He says he's received plenty of questions about the event but told me his group has nothing to do with it and doesn't plan to attend if it happens.

"I don't know if the rally will accomplish any more than letting the city and the city council know they were wrong. It will certainly draw support and let them see that it's widespread opposition to their illegal actions, but the Sons of Confederate Veterans won't participate," Millar said.

On the other hand, the city and the city council say everything in the sale was done legally.

WREG asked the Memphis Police Department if they're doing anything to prepare for protest, they told us they were aware of the potential rally and have planned accordingly.

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

As far as getting a permit for the rally, a spokesperson with the city tells WREG an application and fee must be submitted 14 business says before the scheduled event or three days is required for a protest if it's a news event.

Millar says while he doesn't know who is organizing the event, he hopes it stays safe.

"Hopefully, they'll just be calm."

Wednesday night a statement sent from the page's messenger account said: "Confederate 901 along with The Highwaymen, The Freedom Crew, The Carolina Defenders, Numerous Militias and lll% Groups with Patriots from across the nation are showing up in Memphis TN to show the world our History and Heritage is being destroyed in underhanded backroom deals. We come in peace! We are not a racist organization! We are not affiliated with any racist group! No longer will we remain silent while history is destroyed! We called to find information about a permit and were told "No Point you will be refused you are just being a nuisance" so we are coming to show we are not to be dismissed while our monuments, our Flags, and worst of all our American Soldiers & Their families Graves are being desecrated! Awareness must raised as to what's going on in this Country! We have an office that is located in Shelby county that's running 24 hours a day 7 days a week with a staff of 8 to monitor every angle of this and the founder of our group is Jason Davidson we have close to 10,334 riders coming in from Cali to New York even a few Canada patriots as well as 2 from Australia."

We asked the city of Memphis about the claim regarding the permits office.

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


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