New group unites local activists | #students | #parents

TEXARKANA, Texas — Black Lives Matter, Taking Action Against Bullies and Women of Honor united under one banner Saturday evening.

About 20 to 25 people collectively met at Spring Lake Park under a “Unite 2 Fight” umbrella organization as they continued to get more Texarkana, Texas, residents to sign a petition to remove the Confederate Mothers’ Monument from its current downtown site.

The group is attempting to get more signatures for removing the monument, which they plan to present to the Texas-side City Council during at the council’s Aug. 24 meeting, said Bess Gamble-Williams, the group’s founder.

“When we say fight we mean fight by using our knowledge to educate others — not to fight with our fists,” Williams said. “Right now, there is a toxic atmosphere all across our nation and it’s the same way in right here in Texarkana, but that doesn’t mean we can’t talk to each other and try to understand each other. We are here to educate Texarkana — not fight. We don’t have to actually tear anything down. We can do this the right way.”

Williams’ daughter, Choctaw Williams, said the Saturday meeting’s focused education on improving community unity.

To underscore the point about education, Gamble-Williams presented a new computer to third-grade student Tony Sanders, who goes to Kilpatrick Elementary and who needs a computer at home to do homework as the COVID-19 outbreak continues.

“Low income families are still needing these computers,” Choctaw Williams said.

Unite 2 Fight member Oscar Ruiz said this umbrella organization was first formed June 19 and this is its first meeting at Spring Lake Park.

“Right now we are mainly getting signatures to get the monument removed,” he said. “So far we have about 1,500 Texas-side signatures.”

Choctaw Williams said that in addition promoting education, local residents also need encouragement to vote.

“We are also going to take the time to make sure people vote,” she said.

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