JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Multiple groups in Jacksonville are gearing up to hold a rally Tuesday to protest Confederate monuments that are still standing in Jacksonville.
The Northside Coalition of Jacksonville, Take Em Down Jax and other groups are joining together to announce a “major initiative” for the removal of Confederate monuments on public properties.
Wells Todd, a member of Take Em Down Jax, said their group has been fighting for over five years to rid the city of all Confederate monuments.
“These statues are relics of the Jim Crow era. They are raised to send a message to the African American community that you are no longer going to be a part of the political machinery of the South,” Todd said.
The Sons of Confederate Veterans, however, said the monuments are not a symbol of hate but rather a symbol of pride and also said members plan to attend the rally as well to voice their opinions.
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Seber Newsome III, who is in favor of keeping the monuments, said removing the monuments would be a waste of time because they don’t display hate; they represent the history of the South.
“The monuments don’t cause the problems in Jacksonville today. The shootings, the crime, all problems. They’ve been there 107 years and 124 years, both of them. They’re not causing the problems,” Newsome said.
Newsome hopes one solution that the city council could consider is to keep the monuments up and add historical African American monuments next to the Confederate ones.
The rally on Tuesday, Dec. 13, takes place at James Weldon Johnson Park on West Monroe Street at 4 p.m.