Augusta Commission to vote on confederate monuments

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Augusta, GA (WJBF)- Tuesday afternoon, Augusta commissioners will vote on whether or not to accept a task force’s recommendations on removal of some confederate monuments, downtown.

The vote comes nearly a year after the task force made its recommendations on what to do with the monuments.

The decision on what to do about Confederate monuments is a hot button topic all across the country and right here in the CSRA. More than a year ago several protests took place at the monument on Broad Street both for removing it and against.

“It’s an asset to the community. It’s a work of art,” said Russ Gambill, President of Save the Monuments in Augusta.

He said his ancestors erected the monument on Broad Street and it’s part of his heritage. And he added the people in his organization will not accept anything less than the memorial honoring the men who fought in the Civil War staying put.

“This monument has stood here for six generations,” he explained. “It was constructed by the Ladies Memorial Association with donations and financial help from all aspects of the community, including our black community.”

There are two monuments honoring men from the Confederacy in Richmond County. Michael Gallucci told us he wants to see them moved because they don’t have a place on public property.

“They serve a false narrative about the Civil War, its purpose, and at the end of the day looks to promote the fallacy of the lost cause.” said Gallucci.

Gallucci explained they were put up during Jim Crow as a way to oppress African Americans. He also said he doesn’t buy the argument that heritage has anything to do with leaving the monuments in place.

“So the Heritage they speak of isn’t about pecan pie and peaches and cream. It’s about brutality and that’s what these monuments stand for,” Gallucci said.

Gambill said he hopes the Commission decides to leave the monuments where they are, but that he is prepared to take action if they vote to move them.

“We don’t want to. But if we have to, if we’re forced to we retained a lawyer and we will sue the city in violation…for them violating, not only state law 50-3-1, but also federal law,” said Gambill.

Gambill stated his organization plans to sue each individual commissioner who votes in favor of moving the monuments in addition to the city.

The meeting will take place at 2 pm today.

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