Organizers Scale Back Protest Of Confederate Monument Relocation

Organizers Scale Back Protest Of Confederate Monument Relocation

4:24pm Jan 07, 2019
The Winston-Salem memorial to "Our Confederate Dead." WFDD FILE PHOTO BY PAUL GARBER

Organizers have scaled back a protest rally against the move of a Winston-Salem Confederate monument.

The rally to keep the monument downtown is promoted by a group called the Heirs to the Confederacy. The original plan was to start in Chapel Hill. That’s where a fight over the appropriate place for a toppled Confederate monument known as “Silent Sam” continues.

After that, the plan included travelling from Chapel Hill to Winston-Salem, where city officials have given the owners of the monument until the end of January to move it or face legal action.

In a social media post, the Heirs to the Confederacy say they'll no longer urge monument supporters to protest in Winston-Salem. Instead, it will be replaced by prayer and the laying of flowers.

Organizers say they changed the plans at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the owners of the monument who have vowed to fight attempts to move it.

An official with the group has confirmed to WFDD that they made the request.

A rally in support of the move, organized by a group called Hate Out of Winston, is also scheduled for Sunday.

City officials want to move the statue to historic Salem Cemetery. The statue has been vandalized twice, and the move would help keep it safe, Mayor Allen Joines says. He’s also worried about the potential for the monument to spark violent protests, citing a 2017 right-wing rally in Charlottesville that turned deadly.

The United Daughters of the Confederacy call the city’s demand “heavy-handed” and say they’ll fight to keep it in its current location, where it’s been since 1905.

Support your
public radio station