Group writes open letter to Florence City leaders, calling for relocation of Confederate monument

The group wants the monument relocated to Soldier’s Rest in the Florence City Cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried.

Posted: Aug 17, 2020 10:28 AM

In Lauderdale County, protesters continue to call on Florence city and county leaders to remove a Confederate statue outside the courthouse.

Project Say Something, a local group spearheading the efforts, sent an open letter to the City of Florence and Mayor Steve Holt last Tuesday.

Project Say Something, a group created to confront racial injustice through communication, education and community empowerment, has called on area leaders to move the monument for years. The issue resurfaced in the days after the death of George Floyd, a Minneapolis man who was killed in police custody back in May. 

In the open letter, it states symbols of white supremacy do not belong in public places in the city. Counter-protesters argue the monument is not a symbol of white supremacy.

The group wants the monument relocated to Soldier’s Rest in the Florence City Cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried.

In the letter, the group requests the following:

"As the Florence City Council and Mayor, you need to publicly state why this monument to white supremacy has no place at our courthouse, and speak to the moral issue. Also, state why you will not move a monument that represents white supremacy and oppression."

WAAY 31 reached out to the City of Florence for a response to the open letter and was given this statement, "Mayor Holt and the Florence City Council have publicly stated many times their position on relocating the monument. They are in favor of the monument relocation, and this position has not changed."

Despite the City of Florence having the $25,000 to move the monument, city leaders told Lauderdale County commissioners they want a resolution in writing before voting on whether or not to move the monument. Commissioners told WAAY 31 there is no need for a resolution because commission members sent the mayor a letter saying they can do what they want to with the monument.

The city, however, needs approval from the Lauderdale County Commission to move the monument because it sits on county property.

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