Local activist calls on City of Jacksonville to remove Confederate monument

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — The Women of the Southern Confederacy monument in Springfield Park is a symbol of history to some and a symbol of hate to others.

“It adds a disparaging impact on 280,000 Black people who call Jacksonville home,” Ben Frazier, with The Northside Coalition, said.

The local activist has been calling on Mayor Lenny Curry to remove the statue.

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“It represents racial injustice, racial hatred, racism, and white supremacy. That is what we’re against. That’s why we want to see this monument removed,” Frazier added.

Protesters have also called on Curry, saying he’s made promises to take it down. In June 2020 he announced that all Confederate statues would be removed.

Right now, the statue sits covered in tarpaulins.

Action News Jax has learned it would cost the city $1.29 million to take the statue down. According to an email from Jacksonville’s Chief Administrative Officer Brian Hughes, the money would cover the removal but not storage or preservation of the statue.

Hughes said in his email addressed to city council members, “Whatever your thoughts on the subject matter, it is believed to be a very valuable sculpture. In addition, it is massive in size and weight… removal would take a very intricate and well-planned process.”

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Action News Jax reached out to the city and the mayor’s office to find out where the money would come from and what the timeline would be to remove the statue. We will update this story with a response.

In the meantime, Frazier is hoping the mayor keeps his promise of removing all Confederate statues.