Madison County Commission holds strong on refusal to unlawfully move Confederate monument

About 10 speakers spoke in front of the commissioners Wednesday asked, why not?

Posted: Aug 5, 2020 5:56 PM
Updated: Aug 5, 2020 8:31 PM

Madison County commissioners say without state approval the Confederate monument in front of the courthouse is not moving.

About 10 speakers spoke in front of the commissioners Wednesday asked, why not?

A few of them said the commission is dragging its feet and blaming state law because officials don’t want to move the statue, which was vandalized on Wednesday.

"Why do we wait, if we are bitten, if we are beaten, if we are hurting and we need to be healed, at no other place in time do we ask a person to wait," one speaker said.

"Make the hard choices, make the difficult choices. that's why we hired you to do this, that's why we trust you," Russell Stanners, who spoke to commissioners, said.

"This affects people's lives. This monument, it affects people's lives, psychologically, emotionally. I mean, it's impactful," Stanners said.

Wednesday morning, Madison County Commission Chairman Dale Strong said the same thing he’s repeatedly told WAAY 31 for two months about Madison County’s Confederate monument.

"We operate through a lawful process, this commission is moving forward seeking that lawful process to remove this monument," he said.

But, a state committee already told Strong and the rest of the commission there is no legal way.

"I guess the chairperson has denied it. so we're moving forward, our process is to lawfully relocate this monument to another location," he said.

But, what that means is unclear. WAAY 31 also asked Stong if he'd consider taking the $25,000 local groups raised to pay a state fine for moving a monument older than 40 years old.

"If you go and remove this monument, and do it in an unlawful way, what would be the next thing that we're asked to do unlawfully and just pay the fine? I think that everybody is seeking the same remedy. It's just the path that we're seeking is to do it lawful," he said.

The state law was passed in 2017. In 2015, when it was lawful, some activists started calling on the county to move the monument.

At the time, Strong said the monument isn’t hurting anyone and you can’t change history.

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