JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Northside Coalition of Jacksonville is renewing calls for the removal of Confederate monuments along the First Coast.
The organization says that The City Council should act on an emergency basis to remove the Confederate monuments after recent events in Jacksonville, including an incident where a Confederate flag was flown over a Jaguars game.
In May 2020, Curry removed part of a confederate monument in James Weldon Johnson Park, but the phrase 'Confederate memorial' is still in plain view on the base of the monument.
There has also been intense debate over a Confederate monument in Springfield Park depicting a woman on top of the roof holding a Confederate flag.
The Northside Coalition and Take 'Em Down Jax has picketed City Hall frequently after the Jacksonville City Council blocked Mayor Lenny Curry’s $1.3 million plan to remove the statute from Springfield Park.
Statement from Northside Coalition of Jacksonville:
For over five years the Northside Coalition of Jacksonville Inc has called for the removal of Confederate monuments. However, this request is different. We believe the failure on the part of the City Council to remove Confederate monuments from public property is now a serious threat to public safety.
Bullets have been fired at city hall and racist banners have been flown over the city; both are ominous signs of rising racial strife and division in Jacksonville. The council’s indecision has brought the city to the brink of a moral crisis that could turn violent. The City Council should act on an emergency basis to remove the confederate monuments at Johnson park and at Springfield Park.
The monuments should be removed because they represent racial hatred. We should not allow Jacksonville to become a hotbed of racial division and a national battleground for the Confederate monument controversy.
- Ben Frazier, President - Northside Coalition of Jacksonville Inc.
Last month, a plane was spotted flying over TIAA Bank Field displaying a banner that read 'put monuments back' with a Confederate flag.
The banner flew over the stadium ahead of the Jacksonville Jaguars vs Baltimore Ravens game.
The plane with the banner was sponsored by a group called Save Southern Heritage, according to a press release from the organization.
"In Jacksonville, Mayor Lenny Curry, in the middle of the night on June 9, 2020, desecrated the historic Hemming Plaza Cenotaph by removing the elements of the memorial in knee-jerk cancel culture reaction to the George Floyd death," the press release went on to say.
Mayor Curry responded to the banner on Twitter.
"As I’ve said before, there is no place for hate of any kind in our City. My position on monuments remains clear, I have allocated money for removal and empowered city council to take action."