JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Members of the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville and other people rallied Wednesday at City Hall to call for the removal of a Confederate monument.
They’re asking the city to take down the Monument to the Women of the Confederacy that still stands, although covered, in Springfield Park.
In June 2020, Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry ordered that the Confederate statue in what was then known as Hemming Park, now James Weldon Johnson Park, be removed. At that time, Curry also announced that all Confederate monuments in the city would be removed.
The Northside Coalition said it wants the mayor to follow through with that promise.
“We say take them down and we say let’s go talk to the mayor join us,” said Ben Frazier, with the Northside Coalition.
Just before noon Wednesday, the organization and others rallied peacefully on the steps of City Hall. The group then went inside and marched to the mayor’s office. Before the group arrived, the doors were locked.
“We sent letters to the mayor. He has ignored my calls. He’s ignored our letters. He does not want to sit down and talk to the people. What he wants to do is maintain the lies that he continues to tell,” Frazier said. “Plans are to continue sit-ins and demonstrations, economic boycott because the mayor is not standing by his word to remove this monument at Springfield Park. He must remove it. We should move forward into the sunlight, brand new day.”
A City Hall security guard confronted the group and said the demonstrators had to go. They refused to leave. Jacksonville sheriff’s officers were also nearby but never interrupted the protest. After more songs and chants, the demonstrators left, saying they will return with more protests, including at Jaguars games, and economic boycotts.
The mayor’s office has not responded.