By Jay Mejia
Special News Correspondent
Leaders of a group supporting Black Lives Matter say they plan to swarm the streets outside Dixie Outfitters at 1 p.m. on Saturday.
They said their goal is to block customers from entering the business contending the Confederate flags, T-shirts and souvenirs being sold are “racist and hate-filled” and do not belong in a family friendly town.
“We plan on shutting down their revenue on that day by closing the roads in the same way Springfield held their protests,” said Faith Pittser, one of the organizers of the demonstration. “It will be a peaceful demonstration. Confederate pride is offensive. If Branson will not listen to us, we will make them listen by dropping their revenue.”
“I do not need to contact (Dixie Outfitters owner) Nathan Robb because we will not be on his property,” Pittser added. “We will be on the street, which is public property.”
Pittser said organizers of the demonstration had spoken with the Branson Police Department about the planned event.
Owner Nathan Robb appeared unfazed on Thursday.
“We’ve had our biggest days ever since,” Robb said, referring to last Sunday’s demonstration during which BLM protestors perched on a sidewalk above the store taunting and baiting store supporters in the parking lot below.
“I’m just a small business owner,” Robb said. “What we sell is southern heritage. The First Amendment protects our rights of free speech, just like it protects the rights of protesters.”
Last Sunday, protestors succeeded in provoking one woman to lose her temper and spew a hate-filled message and reference to the Ku Klux Klan that was captured on video and went viral on social media around the world.
BLM protest leaders have been citing the video and publicity about the store as proof Dixie Outfitters must be shut down because it “is filled with hatred and racism and obviously owned by a member of the KKK,” Pittser said, who organized along with Larry Flenoid II of Springfield.
Earlier this week, Mayor Edd Akers issued a response to the viral video that the City of Branson does not condone hate speech.
The Board of Aldermen, during its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, also heard comments from citizens who said they had concerns about Dixie Outfitters being allowed to operate on the tourist-laden Hwy 76 strip.
So far, no other city action has been taken.