Confederate statue removal debate

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) -The Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council took a step forward toward removing two confederate statues from Cheapside Park, another council vote is planned for Thursday.

A local group called “Take Back Cheapside” talked about those statues during a news conference Wednesday night.

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“Take Back Cheapside” has been working on getting those statues moved for the past two years, but following the protests in Virginia and mayor Jim Grays announcement, they want to speed things up.

The organization urges people to attend Thursday’s council meeting and speak up about their beliefs. Should the resolution pass, the council will then take 30 days to find a suitable location for the statues.

“We want our council to have a second reading, we want them to take the final vote. Approval of the resolution however is still not the end of the process to relocate the statues.”

They said the resolution doesn’t allow the city to move the statues outright, it then has to be approved by Kentucky’s Military Heritage Commission, but the organization says they are passionate about moving the monuments because they sit at the city’s former slave auction site.

“They stand on a site where enslaved people were bought and sold, at the old courthouse, mother was torn from child, husband separated from wife and individuals whose names we will never know were sold from one slave owner to another.”

They say they have been accused of rewriting history, but their only intention is to remove the statues from that sight.

“We are not trying to alter or hide the past, we want to know the past more fully and reckon honestly with who we are today as a city.”