Two pro-Confederate groups — Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen — are leading a protest today over the removal of Confederate statues at the University of Mississippi. Here’s what we know about the two groups.
The event is taking place today from 1-5 p.m. at the University of Mississippi in protest of the removal of Confederate statues. You can read more about the event in Heavy’s story here.
Confederate 901 describes itself on their Facebook page as “a group of patriots who stand up for the Constitution and freedom.” The 901 refers to a Memphis area code where they often take part in pro-Confederate rallies, The Clarion Ledger noted.
A few leaders of the group posted a video before today’s event, which included discussing people coming to Confederate 901’s videos and calling them racist. “You want to know who’s a real racist? You look at punk-a** college kids,” he said. “They’re the real racists. They’re the real extremists.” Another said he felt sorry for college students. “They’re uneducated. They look at us as hillbilly rednecks; we’re 30 times smarter than they are. One day the truth will come out.” They also talked for a while about tax returns and not loaning the government interest-free money.
Confederate 901’s Facebook page has more than 13,000 followers. They often post videos about current issues, including the liberal media, the removal of Confederate statues, and other topics.
They often take part in pro-Confederate rallies. In September, they marched in Memphis to protest the removal of Confederate memorabilia, The Clarion Ledger noted.
Concerns were raised after one of the group’s leaders, Billy Sessions, posted a video on Facebook while brandishing an ax, local news source Hotty Toddy shared. The University said in a press release: “On Saturday afternoon between 1-5 p.m., we urge everyone to avoid the area of University Avenue and University Circle. Other areas of campus are not likely to be affected.”
The Hiwaymen has a Facebook page whose description just reads: “We do Patriot Sh**.” Their Facebook page, which has more than 2,000 followers, mostly shares posts from Confederate 901, along with articles about events they’re participating in. The Clarion Ledger noted that they sometimes wear lime green shirts and Rebel flag apparel.
The University of Mississippi has asked students to avoid the area where the protest and march will be taking place, WAPT reported.