Protesters still want Tampa's Confederate memorial to come down

- Several dozen protestors surrounded the Confederate monument at the old Hillsborough County Courthouse in downtown Tampa Tuesday.

As some other monuments across the south are being moved, the one in Tampa, featuring two Confederate soldiers, survives amid renewed protests.

"Take this statue down and let people live the way they want to," said Dr. Bennie Small, of the local chapter of the NAACP.

Commissioner Les Miller had called for it to be moved to private land last week, but in a narrow four-to-three vote, county commissioners voted to leave it in place -- but also erect a mural behind it reflecting the diversity of the community. Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn also added his voice to those asking for its removal.

The mural hasn't arrived, but demonstrators don't like that compromise. 

"I'm not asking you to destroy the monument," said Rev. James T. Golden, pastor of Mt. Zion AME Church, "I'm simply asking that it be moved from the public square."

But several people turned out to support keeping the monument in place.

"Those people don't understand history. By removing it from where it stands they are removing it from the marketplace and public sphere and putting it in a closet," said David McCallister, a local attorney.

Somewhere between a closet and the courthouse is the graveyard.

"Move it to [Oaklawn] Cemetery," said Chloe Coney, who worked for years as an aide to Democratic Congresswoman Kathy Castor.

Oaklawn is city-owned and is Tampa's oldest cemetery, containing many graves of Confederate soldiers.

City leaders in Orlando recently decided to move a confederate monument to one of its historic cemeteries. County Commissioner Pat Kemp told demonstrators that the issue could come back to the commission. Demonstrators vowed to keep pressing until the monument is moved.

The protestors don't like that idea, demanding instead that the monument come down, possibly to be moved to a nearby cemetery.  

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