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What started as a relatively peaceful rally decrying how streets in Hollywood were named after Confederate generals wound up with five people arrested at the Hollywood City Commission meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Hollywood police spokeswoman Miranda Grossman confirmed the arrests Wednesday evening.
“They were in the commission meeting and being disruptive so they were arrested,” Grossman said. “I believe they were yelling, but because I was not there I cannot comment or confirm on whether or not they were being violent.”
Police did not identify the people who were arrested.
The rally started on the steps of City Hall in the afternoon. It had been organized by a coalition of Black Lives Matter, local pastors and Rep. Shevrin Jones, the Democratic legislator who represents the area. Their goal: to denounce the city’s Confederate street names, which they say are located primarily in neighborhoods of color.
Among the streets cited: Lee Street, named after Gen. Robert E. Lee, who led the Confederate Army in the Civil War; Hood Street, named after Gen. John B. Hood, a division commander at the Battle of Antietam; and Forrest Street, named after Nathan Bedford Forrest, a lieutenant general in the Confederate Army. Some say he was the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, although he later denied that.
Pastor David Rosa of Cruciform Church said more than 150 people attended the rally and everyone kept to a peaceful, yet impassioned, agenda.
After the rally, organizers asked attendees to attend the public comment portion of the commission meeting to demand the street names be changed.
Over the past few years, symbols of the Confederacy have been removed from public places. Most notably, the Confederate flag was removed from the statehouse grounds in Columbia, South Carolina, in July 2015 after Dylann Roof, a 21-year-old white man, shot and killed nine worshipers, including the pastor, at a Bible study at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church. Roof has since been convicted and sentenced to death.