New plan proposed to remove Jacksonville’s remaining Confederate monuments

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new plan is in the works to remove Confederate statues in the City of Jacksonville, which local activists say symbolize racism and oppression.

This plan has a price cap on the process.

This group that gathered in front of City Hall is called Take ‘Em Down Jax, and they’ve been picketing each second and fourth Monday of every month to demand Confederate monuments come down, citing the oppression they represent for the African American community.

On Tuesday, a new proposal will be presented to do that, but there will be another group demanding they stay.

Councilmember Matt Carlucci will be leading the effort to rid Jacksonville of statues like the one in Springfield Park, which is a Tribute to the Women of the Confederacy Monument.

It’s not the first time such a proposal has gone before council, but the last one was priced at $1.2 million.

“We’re capping the dollars at $500,000 instead of a million,” Carlucci told Action News Jax.

RELATED STORY >>> New Confederate monument removal legislation to be proposed to city council on Tuesday

“Each time it’s been shot down by city council,” said Wells Todd with Take ‘Em Down Jax.

“I don’t think money is the question here at all,” he added. “[Council members] want to be re-elected.”

“Republican council members know their constituents do not want the monuments [taken down] and it would be wise of them to listen to them,” said Seber Newsome with the group Citizens for Unity, which opposes the removal of Confederate statues and monuments.

“We want to put up statues of famous Black men and women and we don’t want to tear [any statues] down,” Newsome said.

But Take ‘Em Down Jax sees this issue much differently.

“If you want to add statues, take that massive hunk of concrete down over there in Springfield Park,” Todd said, referring to the Tribute of the Women of the Confederacy Monument. “That’s what we’re demanding and we’re taking nothing less.”

Both have different demands, with different approaches.

“We don’t get out and protest like they do,” Newsome pointed out. “We’ll go down to the city council, and tell them again.’

Meanwhile, Todd remarked, “You don’t get things done without creating a movement. Just relying on politicians to get things done has been proven in history that that doesn’t happen.”

These groups will be back for the first reading at 5 p.m. Tuesday night.

Public comments will be heard at the end.