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Northside Coalition of Jacksonville celebrates removal of Confederate monument

Around 4 a.m., city crews began using cranes and heavy equipment began tearing down the statue that's been in the park since 1898.

The Northside Coalition of Jacksonville gathered in Hemming Park Tuesday morning calling for celebration after the removal of a portion of a Confederate monument in downtown Jacksonville.

A bronze figure depicting a confederate soldier in a winter uniform was taken away in the early morning hours by crews without warning.

Around 4 a.m., city crews began using cranes and heavy equipment began tearing down the statue that's been in the park since 1898.

The Northside Coalition's Ben Frazier spoke with First Coast News and said that while this is a great step, he's also calling for the renaming of Confederate Park. 

“These monuments represent a history of hatred and discrimination,” he said. “Southern heritage says ‘I like grits, collard greens, and mac & cheese.’ Confederate heritage says ‘this is about an ideology of white supremacy, discrimination, and racism.’”

The Hemming Park monument, one of the few things downtown that survived the Great Fire of Jacksonville, was removed amid the protests and rallies across the country after the death of George Floyd.  

This all happened unannounced by the city before a planned march and rally that will be led by Jaguars star Leonard Fournette.

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry is also set to speak Tuesday about certain city policies and initiatives. 

The Fournette led march is set to being around 10 a.m. at City Hall.

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