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Counter-cultural protests continued into the weekend around the country, including the heartland city of St. Louis where an angry mob of Black Lives Matter demonstrators threatened a Catholic priest and attacked at least one person who attended a prayer rally.
At a demonstration sponsored by The Gateway Pundit in support of preserving the St. Louis Statue on Art Hill in Forest Park, police had to separate BLM counter-protesters who attempted to disrupt the group as they prayed with Catholic priests.
About a dozen St. Louis police officers have formed a line between those saying prayers and those who want the King Louis IX statue removed. pic.twitter.com/9XJTkHHszf
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 27, 2020
The event, which was organized by TGP founder Jim Hoft, was reportedly in response to a petition effort by a local Left-wing activist, Umar Lee, to have the statue, formally named the Apotheosis of St. Louis, removed because the figure the city was named after, French King Louis IX, was allegedly “Islamophobic.”
Holt noted as well that Tishaura Jones, the St. Louis treasurer, labeled the event an “alt-right/KKK rally” on Friday in a tweet as she criticized Mayor Lyda Krewson for inadvertently ‘doxxing’ some BLM supporters after meeting with them outside City Hall during a live Facebook event to discuss coronavirus policy.
The Mayor’s actions not only endanger her citizens, it is also reckless. The timing of her disclosure is ironically the day before an alt-right/KKK rally in our city. 3/
— Tishaura O. Jones (@tishaura) June 27, 2020
In a separate incident on Saturday, Fr. Stephen Schumacher, a Catholic priest with the St. Louis Archdiocese, took to a megaphone in an attempt to stop further vandalism of the statue and to educate counter-demonstrators about the life of St. Louis, but he was shouted down, according to witnesses.
The Rev. Stephen Schumacher, a priest with the St. Louis Archdiocese is attempting to provide a history lesson on King Louis IX. He’s being shouted down. pic.twitter.com/lMP1aHhEUO
— Joel Currier (@joelcurrier) June 27, 2020
Some in the BLM crowd also appear to threaten to attack the St. Louis Cathedral as well.
“Eventually, we’re taking that down too, though,” one person can be heard saying.
— Francisco Antônio (@FrcoAnto) June 27, 2020
The event drew a crowd of around 200 people, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported, noting that the statue of St. Louis was erected in time for the World’s Fair in the city in 1904.
“He’s gonna come down,” Lee said of the statue Saturday, the paper noted. “This guy right here represents hate and we’re trying to create a city of love. We’re trying to create a city where Black lives matter. We’re trying to create a city where there is no antisemitism or Islamophobia … this is not a symbol of our city in 2020.”
This guy (right) is peacefully protesting.Then Umar & his peeps dumped water on his face, told him to leave, & now keep chasing him. Open carrying AR15’s showing up. Umar just lies to @ksdknews & said they chased just chased Nazis away. KSDK did not challenge him on that lie. pic.twitter.com/yLTDvoEOpv
— Dan Powell (@DanPoSTL) June 27, 2020
In addition, Moji Sidiqi of the Regional Muslim Action Network said she believes the city itself should be renamed in observance of its racial and ethnic diversity.
“It’s a revolution,” she said. “It’s time for change … right now, our number one mission is to take this thing down and sit down with people who want to see positive change take place and continue to heal our country.”
But supporters of the statue and the holiness it represents want it to remain. Daniel Koehler, 31, told the Post-Dispatch that demonstrators seeking to protect the statue were “here praying for peace, we truly are.”
“Christianity has lots of roots in America. What’s wrong with naming the city after a saint?” he said.
Jefferson County resident Maria Miloscia, 25, stepped onto the base of the statue for about an hour, reports said, quietly praying and singing religious songs. She told the paper that she believes further defacement and possibly the destruction of the statue will only lead to more vandalism and destruction of buildings and, eventually, murder.
“I think he symbolizes deep faith and convictions,” she said. “I stand for him. And I stand for those Catholic virtues and those Catholic values that I think are important, like courage, faith and love. But ultimately, I’m here for Christ the king.”
The paper noted that there was at least one scuffle after someone “tossed liquid and a man swung punches at another.”
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