With RNC out, activists hope Mayor Curry focuses on removing Confederate monuments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Now that the Republican National Convention has been pulled out of Jacksonville, some activists say it gives Mayor Lenny Curry time to focus on removing Confederate monuments from the city.

On Friday, a group protested in front of City Hall urging the mayor to focus on a promise to remove the monuments. It’s been over a month since the city removed a Confederate monument from Hemming Park.

“For years we’ve been demanding these come down, and you give us one statue,” one protester said.

Earlier in the week, the Duval Republican Party expressed support for remaining Hemming Park, named after a Civil War veteran who donated the Confederate monument to the park.

Legislation filed by a city councilman suggests the park be renamed to honor Jacksonville native James Weldon Johnson, the composer of the Black national anthem.

The group of protesters say they want Curry to get back on track.

“We are concerned that he’s suffering from blurred vision and then after yesterday’s news, he may be dazed and confused,” said Ben Frazier, the President of the Jacksonville Northside Coalition.

The city said it doesn’t know when the Confederate monuments will come down but said that it’s working on a schedule with the Parks and Recreation Department.

“Monuments, markers, and we’d also like to add Andrew Jackson to that list as well. We’re not going to allow your broken promises anymore Lenny Curry,” said Michael Todd, an organizer with New Florida Majority.

The city told News4Jax the department has to find a place to store the monuments and hire contractors to remove some of them.

News4Jax has also been following the removal of the Confederate monument in St. Augustine.

The Sons and Daughters of the Confederacy, which filed a lawsuit against the city of St. Augustine, sent News4Jax a proposal from a moving company out of New Orleans to remove the monument in the Plaza De La Constitution.

It says the monument may need to be separated into two or more pieces to complete the move. It also talks about pricing and what it needs the city to provide.  News4Jax is hoping to obtain more information on the process in the following week.

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