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City: Box around Confederate obelisk doesn't break law

The state of Alabama says city leaders violated a memorial preservation act when they put plywood in front of the monument last year.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 8:00 AM
Updated: Apr 17, 2018 9:46 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) - The city of Birmingham maintains it did not violate state law when it put a box-like structure around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument.

In a Monday court filing, the city disputed the state's claims that it violated a law prohibiting the removal and alteration of monuments more than 40 years old.

City attorneys argued the plywood screen did not technically remove or alter the monument. They also argued Alabama is trying to stifle opposition to relics that "mourn the Confederacy's 'lost cause' to operate as a separate and independent nation that fosters the enslavement of African Americans."

The city's mayor erected the screen last year. The Alabama attorney general's office sued the city, saying the actions violate the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

A hearing was held in the lawsuit last week.

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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