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Activists react to relocation of Madison County Confederate monument

The debate over relocating the monument ignited many protests over the last six months. On Friday, many of those protesters watched it come down and called it a day of celebration.

Posted: Oct 23, 2020 6:11 PM
Updated: Oct 23, 2020 8:14 PM

It's a historical day in the city of Huntsville with the Confederate monument that was once in front of the Madison County Courthouse being moved to a new home at Maple Hill Cemetery.

The debate over relocating the monument ignited many protests over the last six months. Several different organizations called on the county commission to move it.

The solider on the Confederate monument outside the Madison County Courthouse in Huntsville was removed at 1:17 a.m. Oct. 23. (Image is a screen grab of a Facebook Live video by Reemuhlus Bowden)

On Friday, many of those protesters watched it come down and called it a day of celebration.

One couple said this is only the first step to getting the change they want to see in the city, but they took the day to celebrate what they're calling a big victory.

Protesters made sure they were out in the early morning hours to watch community leaders take the monument down.

Elated is the word Remus Bowden, a local activist, used to describe how he felt seeing the Confederate monument come down.

"I'm glad this is over, the journey of 1,000 miles begins at the first step and we're at the end of it as far as this monument's concerned," he said. 

Bowden had been protesting for the removal of the monument almost everyday for nearly 6 months. He said it wasn't always easy but well worth it.

"We knew at some point our pressure and our persistence would pay off. The egg throwers didn't turn me, which is why the violent fits of rage by some civilians didn't deter me," Bowden said. 

And Bowden wasn't the only one happy to see the monument move. John O'Brien sat outside for about four hours to see the monument come down.

"I been just posted watching it. I'm excited. It's a good time," he said. 

But Bowden and O'Brien both said the fight for social justice in Huntsville is long from over, but they want to worry about that later and take the day to celebrate something they both say was a long time coming.

"It's good because I love Alabama. I've lived in Alabama my whole life. We've got a lot of problems, but we're the ones who fix them and this is a solution," O'Brien said. 

"Yeah, I actually took the day off so I'm gonna be hanging around," Bowden said. 

We spoke to a few people at Maple Hill Cemetery as well as the monument got put down there and they shared the same excitement about it having a new home.

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