Protesters gather to defend Confederate monument in Deleon Plaza

Gathering featured 30-40 protesters, many armed

VICTORIA, Texas — On Tuesday night, a protest was held at Deleon Plaza in downtown Victoria to challenge the recent removal of Confederate monuments around the country.

The gathering, which included 30-40 participants — many of them armed — took place near the plaza’s Confederate statue, which has come under scrutiny in the wake of recent protests around the country and the advent of the Black Lives Matter movement. The protest remained peaceful.

Police on scene said the gatherers were perfectly within their first and second amendment rights to assemble at the statue. A smaller number of Black Lives Matter supporters were also in the area during the protest.

The event was not coordinated by a centralized organization, and participants declined to comment.