Protesters push for Confederate statue removal
JACKSON, Tenn. — Protesters continue the push for the removal of a confederate statue in Madison County.
“I’m going in, I would like to recommend that you all try to make your way in as well, however peaceful as possible that you can make it in,” protest organizer Tracy Boyd said.
Protesters met difficulty at the doors of the Madison County Courthouse while trying to go inside for a 10 minute sit-in to advocate the removal of the confederate statue in front of the court house.
“This is a public building, these officers are alleging that only 50 people can come in at a time,” Boyd said, as the group tried to get in, “I’m pretty sure that there’s probably more than 50 people in this building right now as we speak.”
Protesters were eventually allowed inside, but only a few at a time to comply with social distancing guidelines.
“The purpose of the sit-in was to let the mayor know that we’re willing to sit here and wait for you, and we’re wanting to have this meeting with you to try to see the start of when we can get this statue taken down or removed,” Boyd said.
“I just feel like it’s very important to come out and take a stand, and say ‘not in Jackson, will this be a representation of us as a community,'” protester Kandes Kincaid saidl.
They also protested outside in front of the statue.
The crowd chanted “remove this statue!” and “we are Jackson!”
“It brings about years and years of pain that our community had to go through,” Kincaid said.
“We have confederate cemeteries all over the place, and we think that this statue would fit better off in one of those cemeteries,” Boyd said.
There are a few steps to removing this statue.
According to the Tennessee Historical Commission, under the Tennessee Heritage Protection Act, a public entity who has control over the memorial may petition for removing or relocating a memorial.
The statue is on county property, so it is up to county officials to take the first step.
The Historical Commission doesn’t get involved until later on in the removal process.
“We understand that there is a process, but we want to keep pressure on this process to make sure it gets done,” Boyd said.
He also said they do plan to meet with Mayor Harris about the statue and its removal.
A petition for removal of a memorial must get at least two thirds of a vote from the Historical Commission before anything happens.