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Protesters peacefully gather at Lauderdale County Courthouse

The protest lasted two hours. The first hour was dedicated to speakers and the second hour was for people to talk among themselves.

Posted: Jun 6, 2020 7:50 PM
Updated: Jun 8, 2020 9:01 AM

On Saturday, hundreds gathered for a peaceful protest in Florence to let their voices be heard about how they feel on racism and equality.

The protest happened at the Lauderdale County Courthouse in downtown Florence right next to a confederate monument. Protesters held signs and chanted "take it down."

"We are here advocating for change within our county. This monument of oppression in a house of justice, it just isn't right," said Lesley Scott, a protester in the crowd.

A 2017 Alabama law prohibits the removal of historical monuments over 40 years old, so moving the monument can't happen legally. The city of Birmingham challenged that law earlier this week and removed its confederate monument. The city is now being sued by the state for $25,000.

Scott said it's a challenge and she hopes Lauderdale County leaders will see why it's important to remove the monument.

"We have to keep it going. We have to fight for the younger generation," said Scott.

Since the monument sits on the county courthouse property, it's up to Lauderdale County commissioners to make the call. Their next meeting is on Monday at 5 p.m.

The protest was peaceful and took place from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Speakers also got up and shared their struggles. Others spoke on the importance of voting in the upcoming election and police brutality.

The speakers had the floor for about an hour. The second hour was spent with people chatting and mingling in groups.

People who oppose the removal of the monument were at the protest. WAAY 31 spoke with them and asked if they wanted to share their opinion on the confederate monument. They declined to go on camera.

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