WASHINGTON – What do the “Antifa” radicals have in store for the Independence Day weekend at Gettysburg?
The “anti-fascist” organization plans to burn both American and Confederate flags in town and to “find their local Confederate graves” to desecrate.
That last stunt might be more difficult than they think.
According to the experts at Gettysburg National Military Park, there are no Confederate soldiers buried there.
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Gettysburg, in Pennsylvania, the scene of a great battle 154 years ago between soldiers of the Union and the Confederacy, is a major national attraction, especially during patriotic holidays like Independence Day. While there are 3,500 Union soldiers buried there, no Confederate graves exist.
Both town officials and federal battlefield park officials are aware of the warnings, some of them posted on the group’s Facebook page. Other groups have obtained permits for gatherings, but the protesters have not attempted to get permission. Antifa’s event was promoted for July 1-2 between 3 and 6 p.m. The group reportedly urges followers to “find their local Confederate graves” to desecrate.
Park officials say they support First Amendment rights, but are prepared for disruptions.
“Our goal is to ensure that public safety and visitor safety is number one and that park resources are preserved,” said Katie Lawhon, a spokeswoman for Gettysburg National Military Park.
Gettysburg remains the largest battle ever held on American soil with more than 160,000 troops fighting over a three-day period that resulted in up to 51,000 casualties.