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Permits approved for armed Second Amendment march to commemorate 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre centennial
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Permits approved for armed Second Amendment march to commemorate 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre centennial

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The City Council approved special event permits on Wednesday for a Second Amendment armed march and other major events that will commemorate the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre centennial.

Approval of special event permits is typically a perfunctory part of the council’s work, and Wednesday was no exception. Councilors did not discuss the applications during the meeting before voting 8-0 to approve them. Councilor Connie Dodson was not present for the virtual meeting.

Nick Bezzel, founder of the Elmer Geronimo Pratt Pistol & Rifle Gun Club of Central Texas, last week called on the city to approve a special event permit for the Greenwood Centennial Remembrance Walk scheduled for May 29.

Bezzel said that even if the permit were not approved, the group would go ahead with the march in spaces where it is legally allowed to do so.

In a written statement read aloud to councilors, Catherine Henderson, chief of staff of the gun club, implored councilors to approve the special event permit.

The club “has spoken with the city, community members and activists and we have worked hard to ensure that our event is in line with the required guidelines for the purpose of peacefully assembling to exercise our First and Second amendment rights in honor of those lost to the Tulsa Massacre 100 years ago,” Henderson wrote.

The Second Amendment march is scheduled to start at 6 p.m. on May 29 at Ben Hill Park, 201 N. Latimer Place.

Other massacre centennial-related special event permits approved Wednesday were for the May 28 Black Wall Street Memorial March; the May 31 Remember + Rise ceremony, a nationally televised event at ONEOK Field; and the Greenwood Rising History Center dedication on June 2.

The Tulsa Race Massacre occurred May 31-June 1, 1921, in the Greenwood neighborhood. The official death count, based on death certificates and National Guard reports, is 37, but authorities said at the time that they couldn’t confirm that all deaths were accounted for.

Some estimate that hundreds of people were killed. Hundreds more were injured, and thousands were left homeless.

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