PHOENIX (AP) — Things got noisy outside a west Phoenix Walmart after the company’s decision to remove Confederate flag merchandise attracted scores of protesters and counter-protesters.
The Arizona Republic reports that Jon Ritzheimer organized the Sunday afternoon protest of Walmart’s decision. Ritzheimer is a former Marine who staged a contentious rally outside a Phoenix mosque in May.
His group of self-proclaimed “patriots,” some of them armed, waved the rebel flag alongside the American one while chanting “U-S-A.”
Counter-protesters clashed with Ritzheimer’s group. They called the flag racist and lauded Walmart’s decision to remove it from shelves.
An unofficial police count estimates that the event drew about 100 people. Phoenix police spokesman Lt. Randy Force says 11 officers were at the event after Walmart management called police.
Information from: The Arizona Republic, http://www.azcentral.com
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