JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The organization Take Em Down Jax has continuously advocated for the removal of Confederate monuments in Jacksonville for years.
The group stands in front of City Hall every Friday to protest and make their message clear: remove the statues they believe are symbols of hate.
Mayor-elect Donna Deegan came and spoke to a protest organizer before it started.
During her candidacy, she said she would support the removal of the monuments, and protestors said they believe she’ll get it done.
“I have said repeatedly I would spend public money, just as our current mayor has said he would do to remove those Confederate monuments to make sure that people don’t have to walk by them and be reminded of the time in our history, that quite frankly, we should be ashamed of,” Deegan said.
“We demand current administration, new administration to finish taking them down,” Hope McMath said.
After the James Weldon Johnson Park statue was removed in 2020, the group said the monument in Springfield is next.
“If we can do this, we can continue to do more and that’s what we’re asking for,” Dr. Kimberly Allen with 904Ward said. “The only thing to do is to remove all symbols that represent white supremacy including the one in Springfield Park because that woman does not represent me or any of my friends that are women of the South,” Allen said.
Organizers said they are confident the Deegan Administration will keep its word. They also want to revisit a cost-effective way of removing the Springfield monument.
“For us, it’s part of reparations, right?,” McMath said. “It’s a small investment to reverse a harm that has been in place for over 100 years in this city.”
Pat Geer, supports the Confederate monuments and advocates for them to remain in the city to preserve history.
“I’m just here as a citizen, wanting to preserve the history that I grew up in, and the corrections that were made based on what happened,” Geer said. “That’s what’s not recognized here. We’re not recognizing the fact that we’ve made strides in the city.”
News4JAX reached out to the Deegan Administration. We’re waiting to hear back.