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Xmas Parades Canceled Over Protest Fears

2 towns in North Carolina say it's safer not to have them
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 7, 2019 12:30 PM CST
A protester burns a Confederate flag outside the NAACP's annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner in Detroit, Sunday, May 1, 2011.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

(Newser) – In two North Carolina towns, Christmas might come next year. This after officials in Garner and Wake Forest scrapped their parades amid concerns that aggressive or even violent protesters could clash with Confederate marchers, Newsweek reports. In Garner, town officials nixed the event after seeing social media posts about possible "disruption" of a float backed by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. Within about a week, Wake Forest canceled theirs amid similar worries over a float supported by the Sons & Daughters of Confederacy. Wake Forest Mayor Vivian Jones fought back tears as she made the announcement in a Wednesday video, the Washington Post reports.

Jones said in part that "there are some outside our community" who want to "promote their political agenda without any regard for the safety of others" and "use Wake Forest to spread hate and incite violence." Officials noted that Wake Forest has received no threats, but tensions remain high in the South over Confederate monuments and symbols. "Is the Town of Garner trying to send the message that racism is welcome in the community?" the activist group Move Silent Sam tweeted in November. Now neither side is happy, with a Sons of Confederate Veterans official telling the News & Observer that he "feel[s] so bad for the children," and Move Silent Sam saying Garner "could have disallowed divisive and hurtful symbols such as the Confederate flag" instead of canceling the parade. (Read more Confederacy stories.)

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