The city of Winston-Salem is preparing for gatherings surrounding the fate of a Confederate statue downtown this weekend. This comes after Mayor Allen Joines gave the owners of the statue until the end of the month to move it.

City officials say they're expecting people on both of the sides of the issue to show up in Winston-Salem on Sunday. In a press release, the city says it supports the right to peacefully assemble, and there will be a police presence downtown.

The statue is owned by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. It's been vandalized twice, and according to Joines, moving it is in the interest of all parties.

“What we've said to the Daughters is we as a city can't guarantee the safety of the monument," says Joines. "We obviously can't afford to put a police officer there full time. That was one reason we had made the suggestion of locating it to a dignified location.”

Joines has suggested the statue be moved to Salem Cemetery. A spokesperson for the United of Daughters of the Confederacy says they will fight attempts to move it.

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