JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Community activists who want to see Confederate statues removed from Jacksonville are hoping Mayor-Elect Donna Deegan will finish the job.
Every Friday, community activists with Take ‘Em Down Jax and other groups protest outside of City Hall demanding the removal of the city’s Confederate monuments.
But this week, just ahead of the Juneteenth emancipation holiday, they have a reason to celebrate.
“Because we got the, the stump is gone from this place,” Dr. Kimberly Allen with 904WARD said.
That’s a reference to the removal of the Confederate obelisk from James Weldon Johnson Park last month.
With its removal, just one more monument remains.
“The one in Springfield is next yawl, we ain’t stopping till she comes down,” Hope McMath with Yellow House said.
McMath, a member of Deegan’s transition team, is hopeful the incoming administration will remove the monument to the women of the Confederacy in Springfield Park as well.
“She is gonna do exactly what she said she was gonna do and I don’t think she needs me in her ear to tell me that,” McMath said.
Deegan said she supported the removal of Confederate monuments on the campaign trail, but Seber Newsom III with Sons of Confederate Veterans believes city council will hold the line in support of keeping the monument in place.
“There’s a supermajority on city council. So, she’s gonna have to work with the city council. The people in two polls have said they do not want them removed,” Newsom said.
Similarly, Wells Todd with Take ‘Em Down Jax believes council could prove an obstacle to their goal of ridding the city of Confederate symbols.
“I think it still is gonna be an uphill battle, but I think the tide is turning,” Todd said.
If Deegan wants to remove that last statue her time could be limited.
State Representative Dean Black has said he plans to refile a bill next session that would prevent local governments from removing Confederate statues.
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It came close to passing this year, but failed to cross the finish line.