OXFORD, Miss. (WTVA) - The Ole Miss police chief asked people Monday to avoid areas of campus where supporters and opponents of Confederate symbols are expected to gather later this week.
"On February 23, University Avenue will be closed to vehicular traffic west of the intersection with Grove Loop and around University Circle," said Chief Ray Hawkins. "We urge anyone who is driving on or near campus to avoid University Avenue and the area around the Grove and University Circle."
The message to university students, faculty and staff comes just days before a couple of pro-Confederate groups plan to hold a rally and march Saturday in support of Confederate symbols.
Confederate 901 and The Hiwaymen plan to meet on the Square in Oxford Saturday at 1 p.m. and march to the Confederate monument near The Grove at Ole Miss at 2 p.m.
The rally and march coincide with the group United Students Against Sweatshops holding its national convention at Ole Miss Friday and Saturday.
The USAS’s local chapter, Students Against Social Injustice, called for the university late last year to remove the Confederate statue.
Hawkins, in his statement. added there will be "an elevated law enforcement presence on the march route."
The chief also said there have been meetings with the groups involved to make sure the area is safe during the march.