Some North Alabamians trying to get Confederate monuments taken down

The state passed a law making it illegal to remove Confederate Monuments.

Posted: Jun 2, 2020 6:09 PM
Updated: Jun 2, 2020 10:09 PM

Confederate monuments can be found around just about every courthouse in North Alabama.

In 2017, the state of Alabama passed a law saying it's illegal to remove Confederate monuments. Monday night, the city of Birmingham defied that law and began to remove one of its monuments.

The city will have to pay a $25,000 fine. The move leaves many in North Alabama wondering if civic leaders will stand up and remove Confederate monuments from around courthouses.

"It was freedom," that's how Shoals Activist, Camille Bennett described seeing Birmingham take down its Confederate monument. "I think that Alabama has a responsibility regardless of how long ago that was to atone.

Bennett said she'd like to see other Confederate monuments like the one outside of the Lauderdale County Courthouse removed.

By Tuesday afternoon the Confederate monument outside of the Lauderdale County Courthouse had a sign on it from a protester that said "White silence is white violence."

"It's right there at the courthouse so if you're going there to plead your case oh by the way you have to walk past a symbol of racial terror and it's not OK," said Bennett.

In the past, Gov. Kay Ivey called these monuments part of Alabama history that can’t be changed or erased. Not everyone agrees.

"One of the goals of our GoFundMe fundraiser is to remove one last barrier for the local government to take action so we don't want that $25,000 to be the hold up," said David Odom of the Tennessee Valley Progressive Alliance.

Odom's group is raising money to take down the Confederate monument outside of the Madison County Courthouse.

"I think local leaders across North Alabama now see that we need to act on this and we need to move. This is a movement we can no longer ignore," said Odom.

Both Bennett and Odom's groups have done extensive research on these monuments and say history shows these monuments were built not to remember but to suppress people.

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