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Protesters continue to fight for removal of confederate monuments

Local protesters plan to talk with Huntsville City officials about their issues. They'll continue protesting until the statues are removed.

Posted: Jan. 27, 2018 5:30 PM
Updated: Jan. 27, 2018 5:30 PM

Despite months of debate, a monumental controversy continues in Huntsville. The deadly Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia took place last summer, which stirred up the debate on the confederate statues all across America.

Today, the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance and other groups are continuing to protest at the Madison County Court House every Saturday at noon until local politicians move the statue.

"That's what the monument stands for. White supremacy. It's inexcusable that it should still be here in the heart of Huntsville," said David Odom with The Tennessee Progressive Alliance Group.

David Odoms said though the hype over removing confederate statues has died down, he and others still want local leaders to move the confederate statue from The Madison County Courthouse. He believes there's a better place for the historic monument.

"The first one to come to mind is Maple Hill Cemetery, the historic cemetery less than a mile from here where confederate soldiers are buried. That would be a fitting location. It can go back to the daughters of the confederacy group that donated it in 1905, they can take it," Odoms said.

"We shouldn't have any symbols honoring the confederacy in the first place, which started as Civil War over the issue of slavery," said Alex Caldwell with North Alabama Democratic Socialist of America.

Protesters said most of the monuments have nothing to do with the confederacy. Many were created in the early 1900's during the Jim Crow Era.

"That's when the NAACP was founded around that time. Daughters of the confederacy, they were there to perpetrate racism. It was another big bloom of these monuments during the 50's and 60's, during the civil rights movement," said Tom Moss with North Alabama Peace Network.

There's a $25,000 for moving monuments that have been in place for more than 40 years. Odom said he and other groups have already started raising money and awareness. He's convinced his group's work has started an important conversation.

"I think that cultural change takes a long time and difficult conversation. With any change like this, people are going to say, why do you need to worry about this now? Just let it be," Odoms said.

Odoms told WAAY 31 they've already met with Madison County Commissioners. Next, they're going to present their issue to Huntsville City Council members.

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