Protesters heading to trial after 2020 Gainesville march against confederate statue

Published: Aug. 22, 2022 at 6:28 PM CDT
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GAINESVILLE, Texas (KXII) - Justin Thompson, Torrey Henderson, and Amara Ridge all helped put together multiple protests over the summer of 2020 to remove a Gainesville confederate statue.

Now, the three could face up to six months in jail and a $2,000 fine for the march of August 30.

“After the protest, they all said we did a wonderful job,” said Thompson. “They would see us the next week for our next protest and thanked us for being so peaceful.”

“I was completely surprised because they had told us the protest went really well,” said Henderson.

Gainesville Police charged them with obstruction of a highway or a passageway.

Organizers said they only left the sidewalk once- to walk around a puddle.

“Which forced us out into the street, and so we continued the march in the street to the courthouse, which was only about two blocks and there were no really cars behind us,” said Thompson.

Protesters said the outcome of Tuesday’s trial is about more than obstructing a highway.

“Channeling free speech is not acceptable, especially in a rural community,” said Henderson. “It’s really important for populations and vulnerable populations to be able to speak up when they don’t feel like something is right in their community.”

PRO Gainesville said it expects the trial to last only 1 or 2 days.

Gainesville police asked not to comment until the trial is over.