The Manatee County Commission hopes its community won't be next in the slew of violent rallies that recently hit Charlottesville, Virginia.
An emergency commission meeting is scheduled for 3 p.m. Friday to prepare for two simultaneous protests that are supposed to happen Monday night at a Confederate monument in downtown Bradenton.
The event, “Unity March – Protest for the Removal of the Confederate Monument,” is being planned by several groups including Black Lives Matter Alliance Sarasota Manatee Chapter, Black Lives Matter Tampa, Indivisible Bradenton Progressive, Answer Suncoast, Action Together Suncoast and Black Lives Matter Tampa, according to the event page on Facebook.
More than 100 people have committed to showing up and an additional 200 are interested in attending, all wanting the more than 100-year-old statue to be moved.
They will be met by counter-protesters from a pro-Trump group called America First-Team Manatee which is taking the opposite position.
Team Manatee organization chairwoman Barbara Hemingway says the protest will be peaceful and that she’s hoping for at least 100 supporters on her position's end.