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Lawrence police say 1 arrested in largely peaceful flag protest

Lawrence police report that one arrest was made and one citation issued in what they described as a "largely non-violent" protest Saturday in downtown Lawrence.

The protest by a "Defend the Flag" group — some of them carried Confederate flags down Massachusetts Street — was reportedly in response to a "Drag the Flag" protest that had allegedly been scheduled for late Saturday morning. The "Drag the Flag" event was to protest a variety of perceived injustices by dragging the American flag on the ground. However, the "Drag the Flag" event never occurred, police said. And it was never clear who the organizers of that event were or whether it was even intended to be a real event.

Dozens of counterprotesters in the "Defend the Flag" group nevertheless marched in Lawrence. Police, on Twitter, then noted that there were also some "counter protestors to the counter protestors."

Lawrence Police Capt. Troy Squire said there were never more than 100 protesters and counterprotesters present in downtown and were "for the most part well-behaved."

"I'm very happy things went the way they did today considering it could have been very ugly," Squire told the Journal-World.

Police said they monitored the event throughout the day to ensure it remained peaceful.

The one arrest that was made was related to criminal damage to property, Squire said.

Parker John Mays, 25, of Overland Park, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage to property. Squire said Mays kicked a truck, climbed on top of the truck, fell off and kicked it again.

Mays was released from custody later Saturday, Squire said.

Comments

Frank A Janzen

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

Calvin Anders

It seems pretty obvious that the "drag the flag" event was a contrivance, made up as an excuse for the "defend the flag" idiots to race around in their trucks waving the confederate flag and being generally unpleasant. The best these guys could come up with is the silly idea that people would actually turn up to drag American flags around downtown? We should see this for what it is, a thin premise to allow racists and xenophobes to continue to normalize racist intimidation. Under the excuse of patriotism, these idiots want to make it more socially acceptable to brandish symbols of racism and firearms in a manner designed to threaten minorities and immigrants. I wonder how grass roots this effort was. Was this little bit of proto-fascist circus the idea of a couple of knuckle draggers drinking beer in a trailer? Or were they inspired by some sort of larger effort to cultivate fake liberal protests that "cross the line" and the counter protests in response?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Cutler

Heres the other thing: The westborow baptist Church has been "Dragging the flag" during all of their "God Hates F@gs" protests for well over 20 years now.
But these hillbilly Nutzis never raised a stink about THAT, because they fundamentally AGREE with the WBS and rev Phelps. A few of them got upset when Phelps started protesting funerals of soldiers, but only because he was calling them"F@GS", not because of any flag issues.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Very good point. Why haven't these people gone to Topeka and done this? And it's a cult, not a church.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

There are some computer savvy people who are trying to hunt down who posted the "Drag a Flag" post. It looks like it was a fake post, so the Defend the Flag people got trolled. I would never drag the US flag down the street, but I would drag the Confederate flag. I sure hope they find the person who posted the original Drag the Flag post. We need to out this person. A lot of the Defend the Flag people on their event site were crowing that they scared the citizens of Lawrence. NO YOU DID NOT.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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kathy white

I am concerned that Police Cpt Troy described the Defend the Flag participants as "for the most part well-behaved." What is well behaved about coming from out of town to drive through OUR downtown with flags trying to intimidate the citizens of Lawrence? What is "well behaved" about racial slurs being shouted at passersby and telling POC to go "home"? This is NOT well behaved and I certainly hope the good people of Lawrence will stand up against this sort of intimidation and poor behavior.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Clark Coan

For some, the flag is a symbol of freedom and liberty, our common home and all values we hold dear. For others it symbolizes oppression and imperialism. In 1989 the US Supreme Court ruled that burning the flag is protected speech under the First Amendment.

The Confederate flag today symbolizes racial hatred and white supremacy. Nothing wrong with burning that flag.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Richard Crank

I agree completely. But having had what I am sure were death threats against both my canine companion and myself by someone displaying a Confederate flag in his window, I fear that, in our current political and social environment, burning such a flag could get one killed. I still can't believe it ... even though I heard the threats with my own ears (and recorded the threat against me).

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

You are mistaking your own bias for revealed truth.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Michael Kort

This reminds me of the overnight stenciling of spay painted Donald Trump pictures a few months back, with the Make America Great logo on them, high up on buildings downtown................that somehow (?) got blamed on supposedly anti trump vandalizing artists ? ? ?

This is just like the next right wing scam like the Hillarie's Pizza Parlor Full Of Child Sex Slaves ..........next thing you know, they will be vandalizing a few churches..........well, gee ? ..........they already done that one !

And what is with people coming here from out of town to damage other people's trucks ? ? ?

Great Distraction from the fact that Trump only wants to federally fund 2/15 ths of his infrastructure program with Federal Dollars and the rest can be taxed out in state and local government..........Trump is too cowardly to sugguested a raise in the gas tax to fund his highway part of the infrastructure program which frankly is a joke at even 1.5 Trillion vs the real cost that this country needs to spend to rebuild the obvious highway infrastructure needed to be rebuilt .

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Hudson Luce

The "Drag the Flag" event came from this post on Reddit, an Internet blog on which Alt-Right trolls abound: https://www.reddit.com/r/CringeAnarch... with the Facebook event page graphic: https://i.redditmedia.com/VjbA-yK_KO2...

So it looks like someone far, far away decided to cause some trouble or even stir up a riot just for fun. If you look at the rest of the "CringeAnarchy" Reddit, there's similar nonsense - only this time it got taken seriously, people got hurt, and arrests were made.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

And no one has ever heard of this "CringeAnarchy" and you can't see who posted this, because of the stupid internet. How do we know it wasn't one of your group who posted it to have an excuse to harass people in Lawrence?

I went to "Defend the Flag" event facebook page. First they said that there were no Confederate flags. Then when they posted a photo of one on a truck, they said, well none of the marchers had them. I would like to post the video here to prove they lied again, but they were using so many obscenities, it would be knocked off. I'll try and get a bleeped version.

Also they said they didn't have megaphones, but there are plenty of witnesses otherwise. So all this lying about what their group did, just leads me to the conclusion that they posted the drag the flag lie too. They thought they could come to Lawrence and make people cower, but it's not going to work. They just scared people with children away, because of all their obscenities.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Hudson Luce

Uh, "Defend the Flag" isn't my group, and all you have to do is to click on the first link in my post, and you can see the troll post which kicked this whole thing off. There's an attribution line: "submitted 2 days ago by ktam1212" and you can click on ktam1212 and see what they've posted. It's alt-right trollery.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Oh sorry, I let my anger get the best of me, and didn't read clearly enough.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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MerriAnnie Smith

Someone far away?

Putin is far away and his goons have been doing such things to the citizens of this country for a long time.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Ron Ingram

This is the kind of stuff russians do to f uck with America by stirring up hate. Seriously, this is the kind of stuff that devon nunes does to make America look foolish.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Frank A Janzen

"This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement."
I guess we can't criticize the Journal-World in our comments.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Ken Easthouse

I wouldn't call it completely peaceful. There is video circling around of a man waving a traitor flag around, then grabbing and snapping a flag pole from a counter protester out of a vehicle. Police were on it pretty quickly, but I would have liked to see charges.

Also, we can't really fool ourselves into thinking these were all out of towners. I know there were a handful of people from out of town driving their trucks up and down Mass St., revving their engines as they passed any counter protesters. Many of them, however, were in DG county tagged vehicles. We may like to think of ourselves as a progressive community, but we have some work to do in our own yard.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Steve King

Really confusing because the flag pulled from the truck was a black and red flag. The flag of anarchists.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Yes, the Confederate flag guy yanked it out. It was a flag of someone who was counter protesting the confederate flags. In the same video one of the women with the confederate flag guys challenges the woman in the truck to come fight, right in front of the cops. The woman with the flag that was destroyed laughed and said you going to do this in front of a cop. Then someone called her a coward and they all started laughing. And they were using a whole lot of foul language. But if you talk to anyone in this group, they would say they were all polite and nice people, and there were no confederate flags, and their was no foul language.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Cutler

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

Diana Lee

For the police chief to call it peaceful when racists paraded around with their hate symbols in an effort to intimidate minorities is disturbing and wrong headed. Clearly they have the First Amendment right to carry those symbols. But I’m disappointed to hear law enforcement display such a fluppant attitude. The entire point of ghose symbols is to spread fear and intimidation. We must never overlook this.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Diana Lee

Ack, please excuse my typos. That’s what I get for commenting at this time of the night!

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Jennifer Harrison

Umm...it was peaceful and it’s the police departments duty to protect EVERYONES rights regardless if you agree with their beliefs or not.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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kathy white

That is not peaceful by Lawrence standards. No one has a right to intimidate and insult other people.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Jennifer Harrison

I said the same thing when the Black Lives Matter group went into our downtown businesses intimidating owners and employees to support their cause.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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kathy white

As did I.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

So why didn't they arrest the man who stole the woman's flag and threatened her? There was a whole crowd surrounding her truck, because she dared to counter their protest. What about her rights?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Then why didn't they arrest the guy who tore up the woman's anti fascists, and the woman who threatened her? How is that free speech? Or do only you conservatives get free speech?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

You're upset that the police protect the First Amendment rights of those you disagree with?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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kathy white

No, I'm upset that they are calling it something other than what it was. It was an attempt to intimidate and harass the citizens of Lawrence. There were moments of confrontation, disrespect to the flag, name calling, and aggressive behavior with vehicles and person to person. This is not what I call peaceful.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

Everyone doesn't agree with your choice of terms. It's that darned First Amendment again.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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kathy white

You don't have to agree with my choice of terms. It is recorded on video for all to see. The first amendment does not give a person the right to intimidate and harass other people.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Were you there, Bob? They didn't have the right to shout obscenities to people on the street. When I first saw them I was leaving the Souper Bowler at the art center. Their trucks were going south on New Hampshire, but they were turning left into the hotel's small unloading spot, revving their engines. Not sure why they were afraid of driving by the art center. I'm sure they might have freaked out a few hotel guests.

I know 2 families with small children who went home early, because of the obscenities they were spewing. They were rude and obnoxious. They could have peacefully marched from one end of Mass to the other, even chanting, USA, like the Women's March did, but that's not what happened. I don't know if they were drinking before they came, but it sure seemed like some of them were drunk. And some of them wanted to start a riot, which they would have blamed on someone else. Why else would this guy go up to someone's vehicle and grab a woman's flag that he didn't like?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

It's funny that you mention the Women's March since I don't recall you complaining about the revving of engines and honking of horns that accompanied that march. I guess it's only free speech when the driver agrees with you? Likewise, I don't recall you complaining about the vulgar signs and chants that were part of that march. I guess it's only free speech when the shouter agrees with you?

Sadly, it doesn't surprise me that you are nothing more than a hypocrite who wishes to deny your opponents the same rights that you demand...

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Summers

I find the pussyhat ruins one's efficacy.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

Surrounding a truck, shouting obscenities, then grabbing a person's property and destroying it is not free speech. It's assault.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Kevin Elliott

So Bob, according to you, if someone assaulted you, took and destroyed your property and littered it in the streets, if they did so out of a political motive, it is free speech and not illegal?

That explains so much about your character.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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MerriAnnie Smith

I'm sure Bob only feels that way about the far right's rights. He wouldn't defend any lefter's rights.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

It's amazing how disappointed progressives keep totally misunderstanding what I say.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Greg Cooper

It's amazing that you don't say anything that makes sense to the conversation. You might try making a statement that is germane, Bob.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Kevin Elliott

The understanding is clear. If it is not alt right or all white, it is wrong to you.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Kathleen Wallace

It's pretty ironic that a group had such strong feelings about the American flag that they turned out to "protect" it from what looks like a made up event, but the same group by and large does not respect the equally strong views that the Confederate flag elicits in many. The muddled thinking is astounding. Both are powerful symbols, but for some reason the alt righters only think their feelings count. This is the definition of privilege.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

Yes, your thinking is pretty muddled, but that's not astounding. Perhaps it's time that these folks, whom you wish to deny free speech, start burning flags you (and those like you) support just to watch your hypocritical heads explode in fury at the audacity. Maybe a big bonfire with rainbow flags, BLM flags, Mexican flags, Cuban flags, Venezuelan flags, Anarchist flags, etc. It's just free speech, right?

Of course, it's also ironic to demand 1st Amendment rights to burn the symbol of those rights. In affect, you are using your 1st Amendment rights to denounce your 1st Amendment rights. It's kind of a paradox and I keep hoping it will cause a rift in the time-space continuum that sucks those like you out of our reality.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

There was several of the "defend the flag" people who surrounded a truck of someone with the anti fascist flag. They kicked her truck and grabbed her flag and broke it. One of them even tried to get her to fight, in front of the police. I don't know if this was the guy that was arrested, but he wasn't arrested in this video. Is this the free speech you are talking about? I don't think that was speech at all.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

No, I would call it irony that an antifa supporter was the victim of antifa tactics.

As to why he wasn't arrested, perhaps because the 'victim' refused to press charges against his 'attacker' in what was nothing more than a false flag event? Who knows? Or maybe it's because misdemeanor vandalism is just a ticketing offense rather than warranting an arrest? Since it appears no fight broke out, it would be quite a challenge to prove that his actions rose to inciting a riot or other such charges. Further, it would set a bad precedence for the groups you support who engage in the same in-your-face tactics but whom you would bitch and moan about being arrested.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Reinsch

Putin has to be chuckling his butt off right about now. His plan is succeeding beyond his wildest dreams. Chaos and disruption.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Bob Smith

You seem to be so close to Putin. Your handler keeps you well informed.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

I think some people are finding out that the post that trolled these guys into coming to Lawrence and making fools of themselves came from Russia, so if Putin isn't paying for these Russian bots, who is? Aren't you concerned that about that, Bob?

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Paul Youk

Pretending that you 'defend the flag' by waiving the only flag that has be risen to fight against America on her soil....yeah, that makes sense--lol, hoopleheads.

I'd criticize the 'drag the flag' folks to, but the difference is they didn't actual exist.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

Well, if you can only count to one that would be the British flag. Are you saying the British flag was being flown that day (other than by a certain shop downtown that quite prominently promotes it)?

As to your saying "they didn't actual exist", that is true to the extent that it was a single person and not on that day. However, this whole mess on Saturday would not have happened if not for the actual drag the flag protest that did happen on January 28.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

There were several confederate flags on trucks and in the march. But keep on saying the lie that there weren't any. There are plenty of photos out there proving you wrong. And maybe you guys should respect the flag. There was one of you guys wearing shorts made from a flag. Covering your being with the flag isn't respectful.

And when are you guys headed to Topeka to Defend the Flag against the Westboro cult. They stand on the flag and drag it around and yet you haven't gone there. But, of course, you like their mission, don't you.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Andrew Applegarth

I said nothing of the sort, Dorothy. Try again when you aren't quite so addle brained and can read what I posted instead of listening to the voices in your head telling you fairy tales.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Gary Stussie

Nothing like Conservatives exercising their 1st Amendment rights to demonstrate the lack of tolerance exercised by our liberal friends.

Why is it that only the Left get to decide which words we can say, which flags we can carry, which laws are enforced (and which are ignored)?

Why is it lefties never seem to tire of labeling Conservatives but condemn stereotyping?

Getting painfully transparent and remarkably predictable. If someone carrying a Confederate flag "intimidates the citizenry" this country is in serious troible! .

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

The left didn't attack anyone. It was for boys. Gaslighting tactic No. 8 Projection. Blaming others for things that you do.

Apparently this guy helped organize the "free" speech event. I guess he was just celebrating harassing people in Lawrence way too much. He may lose his bar, I mean restaurant.
http://ksnt.com/2018/02/04/local-rest...

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Cait McKnelly

More Trump supporters "Making America Great Again".

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Armen Kurdian

Not there, so can't comment on what did or did not happen. But I can say this, if you are shouting racial epithets, grabbing flags, waving white supremacist flags, waving ANTIFA flags, throwing rocks, smashing windows, trying to intimidate, or other similar activities, you're in the wrong.

I think we can all agree on that.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Dorothy Hoyt-Reed

And then there was this guy defending the flag.I sure hope he was wearing underwear at least.

http://www2.ljworld.com/users/photos/...

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Brandon Devlin

Even the dog looks embarrassed to be there.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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Richard Heckler

"It seems pretty obvious that the "drag the flag" event was a contrivance, made up as an excuse for the "defend the flag" idiots to race around in their trucks waving the confederate flag and being generally unpleasant."

I subscribe to this thought .........

These rowdies could be bad for retail business in Lawrence due to their unfriendly nature.

3 months, 2 weeks ago

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