Shoals celebrities ask Lauderdale County Commission to remove Confederate monument

Citizens plan to continue holding protests and asking county commissioners to relocate the monument.

Posted: Jun 22, 2020 3:10 PM
Updated: Jun 22, 2020 6:38 PM

Monday night's Lauderdale County Commission meeting was filled with people addressing the commissioners on why the Confederate monument should or should not be removed from the courthouse grounds.

While some citizens will address county commissioners during the meeting, others plan to protest outside in favor of relocating the Confederate monument. The monument cannot legally be removed because of a 2017 law, but other cities across the state have gone against the law and removed their Confederate monuments.

The monument debate isn't on the agenda for the commission meeting on Monday and there needs to be a unanimous vote to have it placed on the agenda and discussed. Two weeks ago, this same scenario played out with Commissioners Garner, Parker and Pettus somewhat avoiding the issue and voting against having it on the agenda.

Last week, local celebrity Jason Isbell tweeted his support to have the monument removed, saying "I've got some good friends down at courthouse in Lauderdale County, Alabama trying to get the Confederate statue taken down, and I sure hope they're successful. If you see this and know someone on the county commission please let them know this is important."

At the last county commission meeting on June 8, local Grammy award winning musician John Paul White stood up and addressed the county commission on the matter. He asked them to see it if the roles were reversed. He said to imagine what it would be like to walk passed that statue everyday if to you, it meant oppression.

"It's one of the few places in the entire county that you cannot avoid. You have to go to the courthouse and hear them call it heritage and history. Take down the statue," said White.

The city of Florence has said it's raised the money to pay the $25,000 fine to relocate the monument and break the state law. The city said it has the money to have it transported to a local cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried, but the city does not have the power to remove the statue since it sits on county property.

Activist groups had daily protests to remove the monument all last week. There is another protest planned for Wednesday. 

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