JACKSONVILLE, Fla — Fireworks at a Jacksonville city council meeting after several residents made public comments either for or against keeping up the city’s last confederate monument.
Jacksonville community activist Ben Frazier was taken to jail after his public comment ran over his allotted time, and it was clear that Frazier had one message to city council members.
“Remove the confederate monuments, take them down,” says Frazier.
Frazier, community activist and president of the Northside Coalition made a statement in tonight’s Jacksonville city council meeting about the city’s final confederate monument that still stands inside of Springfield Park.
After Frazier was told his time was up, he continued to speak, forcing JSO officers to escort him out of the chambers.
“Remove the confederate monument, take them down, am i being arrested,” says Frazier.
Several people including Frazier spoke in tonight’s council meeting about this confederate monument despite it not being on the agenda.
Blake Harper, who supports the confederate monument to still stand upright, says the negative perception it gets is completely unfair.
“What you want to do, we don’t want to do. We want to keep our history; we want to contextualize out history. We need to learn from our history,” says Harper.
We asked Harper, what would he say to people who believe these monuments represent racism.
“All I would say to that they haven’t completely researched what’s happening,” says Harper.
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We spoke with Jacksonville city council member Tyrona Clark-Murray and asked her why it’s taken the city so long to make a decision on the monument.
“Initially, as a citizen, I was looking to the Mayor to take the confederate monuments down because that is what he promised to do. Then I’m not sure what happened in the interim where it came into the city council’s lap,” says Clark-Murray.
We also asked Clark-Murray if she believes citizens should be able to vote on this or if the council should decide.
She says she would be fine with either decision