Confederate Groups Organize “Mississippi Stands” Rally to Counter SASI Convention

By Talbert Toole
Lifestyles Editor

Confederate 901 is a group of patriots who stand up for the Constitution and freedom, according to their Facebook page. Photo via Confederate 901 Facebook page.

Two Confederate groups—Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen—have organized a “Mississippi Stands” rally in Oxford for Feb. 23. The rally comes in the midst of the Students Against Social Injustice’s (SASI) 22nd United Students Against Sweatshop national convention, also hosted the same weekend.

SASI is the local chapter of the national student-led organization United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS). According to the group’s mission statement, they are committed to providing a safe, welcoming environment for marginalized persons on campus.

The student organization has a history of fighting back against confederate iconography, according to the USAS website.

The Mississippi Stands rally is in protest of the administration’s decision in the removal of several elements members call traditions to the school such as the Conferdate battle flag at football games, Colonel Reb and the song “Dixie” performed by the Ole Miss Band.

Rally members have also expressed through Facebook the changes are against the contextualization of historical areas on the UM campus. 

A spokesperson from Confederate 901 told in a Facebook message that “only cowards attack the dead. Tell your commie buddies we are coming to crash their party.”

The spokesperson, who did not relinquish his or her name, also said that only communists and globalists support the destruction of our nation and its history.

In a video posted by Confederate 901 Wednesday night, members voiced that they would be in attendance in support of the Confederacy.

Photos via Confederate 901 Facebook page.

A Growing Feud 

On Nov. 28, members of SASI, along with staff and faculty members of the university, formed a protest to demand that the UM administration remove Ole Miss’ confederate statue from campus grounds.

The protesters also delivered a list of demands to former Chancellor Jeffrey Vitter at The Lyceum:

During the SASI protest in November 2018 participants marched through campus with signs advocating for the removal of the Confederate statue. Photo by Talbert Toole.

1) “The University of Mississippi administration must remove the Confederate statue from campus.

2) The administration must implement a publicized hate speech policy to protect students from the racist violence we experience on campus.

3) Regardless of who is in the Chancellor’s position, the administration will meet with us next semester to discuss these demands.”

On Wednesday, Jan. 16, SASI issued a statement regarding the “Mississippi Stands” rally:

“On January 14, 2019, Students Against Social Injustice were informed of a rally planned by George “K-Rack” Johnson, of the Memphis-based group Confederate 901, and Billy Mack Helton, also known as Billy Sessions, of the Arkansas-based group the Hiwaymen, as part of an effort to disrupt the United Students Against Sweatshops’ 22nd National Convention, an event planned with the intention of educating students on how they can become great organizers.

The Confederate Memorial statue on campus is one that represents hate. It is a celebration of honor for Confederate soldiers that knowingly fought for the institution of slavery and for the demise and degradation of black lives. As long as the statue remains on campus, it will continue to function as a tool to uphold these values and to allow room for racism to remain rampant on campus and in the Oxford community.

The Mississippi Stands Rally poses an imminent threat to students on campus, as both planners for this event have encouraged their followers to bring weapons to other events in the past, and have stated that they will “be vigilant” and do “what the law will not do for them,” and that our existence as a student organization is a threat that protectors of confederate ideals will “no longer tolerate.”

The university’s primary duty should be to facilitate educational opportunities for students while maintaining their safety, not to serve as a playground for extremist militant groups affiliated with white supremacists.

For these reasons, Students Against Social Injustice will continue to stand by our demand that the University of Mississippi removes the statue from campus as well as our decision to host the USAS 22nd National Convention. As it is an educational event, we will not be engaging with participants of this rally, and will be requesting means of precaution from University Administration and UPD.”

The Mississippi Stands rally caught attention on social media mid-January. Confederate 901 posted signs that its protestors will carry on the day of the rally. The sign the group posted reads “Confederate monuments are dedicated to our dead not white supremacy!!!”

Confederate 901 members say they plan to march with this sign, among others, on the day of the Mississippi Stands rally. Photo via Confederate 901 Facebook page.

Annie Twitty, professor of history, said the University of Mississippi has yet to fully reckon with the way it has benefited from slavery, segregation and white supremacy.

She said the state of Mississippi has an approximately 38 percent population of black residents, and the university has a 10 to 15 percent black student population. Twitty said those students have voiced repeatedly they do not feel welcomed.

“Given that a monument to those who fought and died to keep them in bondage continues to stand in one of the most prominent locations on our campus, I can’t say I blame them,” Twitty said.

The University of Mississippi is one of the last flagship institutions to have Confederate symbolism on its campus, according to The Chronicle of Higher Education. Recently, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill removed the remnants and plaques of its former controversial Confederate statue—Silent Sam.

The statue itself was taken down by protestors in August 2018.

The removal of the remnants and plaques came hours after the university’s Chancellor Carol Folt announced she had made the decision to step down from her position at the end of the school year.

Twitty said she encourages all Mississippians to read the Confederate’s own statements regarding why they made the decision to secede from the Union.

“They were not ashamed of their willingness to tear the nation in two in order to protect the right to continue holding other human beings in bondage,” she said. “They weren’t bashful about their motivations.”

Twitty said the monument recognizing those who gave their lives in defense of slavery has no place on a college campus.

“Slavery, segregation, and white supremacy may be the University of Mississippi’s past, but they’re not its future,” she said.

The SASI National Convention will take place Friday, Feb. 22 and 23 at the University of Mississippi. Those interested in attending the convention can register here.

The Mississippi Stands rally is slated to take place Feb. 23 at 1 p.m., beginning at the monument on The Square’s Courthouse lawn and ending at the monument in the university’s Circle.


  1. So if The University’s job is to “facilitate educational opportunities for students” I must ask, which group of students? Because it’s obviously not all groups of students. because there is obviously a large group very large group that happens to hold the Confederate monument and their heritage very dear to their heart. Does this majority group not matter? I guess because they are the majority? What is happening to my university by letting small groups with leftist liberal agendas dominate the political landscape is a joke and it is made a mockery of one of the greatest flagship universities in America. I pray our next Chancellor have some cojones and doesn’t fall down to this small group small minded PC garbage. Let the band play Dixie! And bring in a history teacher he will actually teach the damn truth. Good riddance vitter I pray my ole Miss returns to her glory and not a breeding ground for liberal cesspool swimmers. Hotty Damn Toddy

    • I agree with you totally, these persons only wish to destroy only what little is left of and the truth associated with our history and heritage.
      They fail to see that slavery was only one of the many issues some people was fighting for, they want to be the center of attention. Slavery did not end because of the civil war it was one of the problems associated with that war only intelligent human beings look at all sides and all causes of that war in which so many people died. Murder is a bigger sin not brought up by the liberal brood. To have peace we must have truth and presence of others feelings.

  2. Chancellor Carol Folk must not’ve read all of the secession articles she refers to. Only four of them mention slavery as a reason for secession. The vast majority don’t. The reasons they do mention are: (1) the failure of the Federal Government to honor its obligations to the southern states in question; (2) the Federal Government’s violation of the Federal Constitution of 1789; and (3) and, for the upper South, the Union’s military invasion of the Deep South.

    • The Vice President of the Confederacy made it crystal clear why they attempted to leave the Union in the Cornerstone Speech.

      “Our new government is founded upon exactly the opposite idea; its foundations are laid, its corner- stone rests, upon the great truth that the negro is not equal to the white man; that slavery subordination to the superior race is his natural and normal condition. This, our new government, is the first, in the history of the world, based upon this great physical, philosophical, and moral truth.”

      Alexander H. Stephens

      Savannah, Georgia

      March 21, 1861

  3. When are people gonna get their senses together? These statues and flags don’t represent hate. They represent the south and that’s what makes the south special. These symbols have been part of the south over a century and a half. They were never a problem. How come they all of a sudden are now? If dr Martin Luther King Jr. were here today he would be ashamed to see people tear down, erase, and re-narrate history into ones perspective to be made comfortable. Also, these statues weren’t put up because of “Jim Crow” because the north put their union monuments up the same time the south put theirs up. And during the 1960s they weren’t put up in opposition to the “civil rights movement” they were put up due to the centennial of the civil war. 1861-1865 1961-1965. I am a northerner who lives in Detroit Michigan, a very liberal part of Michigan and I know my history very well and what is happening in the south right now is brainwashing and ignorance. We are supposed to be erecting monuments not destroying them. This is 2019! People need to get their act together!!!

    • You’re silly, son. Put those statues and flags in museums. Does Germany still have Nazi statues and flags around?

      Grow up.

      • This is not Germany or Japan, these flags and statues are American many Americans died for causes many do not understand or so close minded they do not care to understand the truth. You may now grow up


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