Florida LS attends Confederate Pride Ride in Jacksonville
On Saturday, 1 August 2015 Volunteers of the Florida League of the South and their Auxiliaries conducted a Literature Distribution Operation in four locations in conjunction with the “Confederate Ride” event held in Jacksonville, Florida.
Following the monthly breakfast meeting of the Headquarters Chapter, Florida League of the South, 8 Volunteers and 1 Auxiliary departed Gina’s Deli on Edgewood Ave around 11:00 AM and moved to Regency Square Mall on Jacksonville’s South side located at 9501 Arlington Expressway.
Arriving shortly before 12:00 noon, the Volunteers met up with 8 more Volunteers and 1 Auxiliary for a total of 18 personnel. Free Magnolias and half-page fliers were distributed by the League to the attendees gathering in the mall parking lot.
Prior to the event the tenants and owners of Regency Square Mall had received notice that their parking lot would be used as a staging area and contacted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, informing them that the mall did not want their parking lot used for such a purpose. The organizer of the event, a young girl by the name of Katelyn Nicole Stephens was informed of the mall’s stance and refused to consider an alternate rally point. She was further informed that police would arrest people for Trespassing if they assembled in the parking lot. Miss Stephens failed to show up for the event which caused confusion and disorder. The attendees and the police approached League members asking them if they were the organizers. League members denied involvement in the organization of the event but assisted the police in moving everyone out of the parking lot in a rapid and orderly fashion to the nearby abandoned Wendy’s restaurant parking lot located on Monument Road. This move was accomplished by approximately 12:45 PM.
In the Wendy’s parking lot League Volunteers and their Auxiliaries continued to hand out Free Magnolias and half page fliers until a young man took charge and gave instructions to the attendees on the route, speed limit and destination. The convoy departed the Wendy’s parking lot at approximately 1:00 PM.
Traveling South on the I-295 East Beltway, the convoy circled Jacksonville, exiting the I-295 East Beltway at Heckscher Drive and making an unscheduled stop at the Gate gas station located at 4100 Heckscher Drive for bathroom breaks, gas, food and drinks. During this stop the League continued to hand out literature and discuss the League with attendees. The Confederate flag convoy dominated the gas station parking lot, taking up nearly every pump position, parking spot and even parking in undesignated spaces. Motorists not associated with the event gazed on in wonder and were full of questions. They were met with League literature and brief discussion of the League.
The convoy eventually left the gas station and proceeded East on Heckscher Drive to Huguenot Memorial Park located at 10980 Heckscher Drive. Hundreds of vehicles bearing Confederate and other flags parked in an orderly fashion on the beach. Here, the Florida League, consisting now of 16 members, continued to hand out League literature and discuss the League with both rally attendees and unaffiliated beach goers.
During these four stops it is estimated that the Florida League distributed approximately 521 half page fliers and 293 Free Magnolias. Possibly more were distributed with those contributed by the Lake City Chapter.