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'We have to meet a common ground': Protesters line street near Dublin Confederate monument

One side waved flags supporting President Trump. The other side held signs and wore shirts reading "Black Lives Matter."

DUBLIN, Ga. — Bellevue Avenue in Dublin was split between two opposing groups Thursday night. Both sides stated they're standing up for "what's right."

"What's right is southern history. Can't change it, no matter how hard you try.  There's no need in causing trouble, stirring up trouble over monuments. Heroes to us may not be heroes to other people," said Kenneth Groom. 

"That's yesterday. We're here today because it's still unequal. We're still fighting for justice and equality," said 15-year-old LaKenya Hart, explaining why the Confederate monument should be moved.

One side was waving Confederate flags as well as flags in support of President Donald Trump.

On the other side was a group protesting the city's Confederate monument. Many wore shirts saying "Black Lives Matter." They're demanding justice and equality.

"I fight for me. I fight for my grandma. I fight for my auntie. I fight for my uncles, my brother, and my sister," Hart said. 

The groups argued over a range of topics revolving around politics and race relations. However, several who spoke to WMAZ say they showed up to make their voices heard on whether or not the Confederate monument should stay.

"This statue does not represent all of us. What I'm seeing is a group of people not understanding that we have to meet a common ground," said Michael Holiday.

"I want to remember history. We all have history in our cultures, good and bad, it's not all bad, and that's in White, Black, Asian, Hispanic. It doesn't matter. We all have history that's good and bad and we have to embrace it," said Lance Tarpley. 

Overall, the protest stayed peaceful even though law enforcement had to break up some arguments. 

Chief Tim Chatman with the Dublin Police Department says many protesters, on both sides, were from out of town. Chatman says he doesn't want to see Dublin divided like this. 

"I just want to get back to Dublin. It's just going to take us time to get us there," Chatman said. 

Chief Chatman says he encourages open, honest conversation to hopefully move towards a better Dublin. 

Dublin Police ended the protest at 7 p.m. after warning protesters that if they didn't leave by 7 p.m., they could risk being arrested for trespassing. 

RELATED: Opposing groups gather in nonviolent protest at Dublin Confederate monument

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