• Activists, community leaders protest Ocala mayor's Confederate Memorial Day proclamation

    By: Myrt Price , James Tutten

    Updated:

    OCALA, Fla. - Activists and community leaders held a protest at the Ocala City Hall on Friday because they are upset by a Confederate Memorial Day proclamation.

    "We should be all living in harmony. It doesn't matter if you black, white, green, yellow, purple or blue, we are all human beings,” said Larry Johnson, with the group Kings in Brotherhood.

    The group came to speak out about Ocala’s mayor approving a city proclamation for a Confederate Memorial Day earlier this week.


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    It had been requested by the advocacy group the Daughters of the Confederacy.

    Councilwoman Mary Rich was one of the people critical of the proclamation.

    "I think it does put Ocala in a bad light," Rich said.

    Mayor Kent Quinn responded publicly late Wednesday afternoon.

    "I was simply honoring the request of these folks to recognize and memorialize veterans who had died that were Confederate soldiers,” Quinn said.

    Quinn also said he's done the same thing in previous years and no one said a word. Community leaders disagree.

    Whitefield Jenkins, with the Liberation Ocala African American Council, said he wants elected officials to understand.

    "We have no animosity of the Daughters of the Confederacy,” Jenkins said. “What we're arguing against is that we don't want you to use our tax money and our government against something that we revile. We revile what the Confederacy stands for."

    The demonstrators said they wanted to meet with the mayor Friday, but that didn't happen. They are still hopeful they'll get the opportunity.

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