BRADENTON, Fla. (AP) — Several hundred supporters of Black Lives Matter and others rallied Monday evening in a city along Florida’s Gulf Coast to demand the removal of a Confederate monument outside a courthouse. The protest also drew a smaller number of people to the city of Bradenton who wanted the monument, now covered in protective plywood, to stay.

Bradenton leaders had the plywood put up around the monument in recent days, after a similar debate in Charlottesville, Virginia, led to a violent neo-Nazi rally Aug. 12 in which hundreds clashed violently. After authorities had broken up that rally, a car had rammed into a crowd of counter-protesters that day in Charlottesville, killing a woman and injuring 19 others.

Critics have called such monuments symbols of white supremacy and racism. Supporters of such monuments say they are reminders of Southern heritage.

On Monday evening, activists opposed to the Bradenton monument stood shoulder to shoulder with some elderly people waving signs against racism. Some signs read: “No racism, no hate.”

Elsewhere were some others including a person with a sign with a swastika and others waving a Confederate flag.

There was a brief tense moment at the end as speakers finished addressing the crowd and participants in the rally against the monument began dispersing. For a moment a handful of black men faced off with people carrying the Confederate flag. Deputies broke them up and pushed them away.

A reporter witnessed one man being led off to a police station but it was unclear why — and whether he had been detained.

The local sheriff’s department and Bradenton police had blocked off streets with heavy vehicles and barricades at nearby intersections as a security measure, preventing anyone from driving into the area. At least 200 law enforcement agents were reported on hand.

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