FLORENCE, Ala. — The Shoals racial justice group Project Say Something has filed an amicus brief, its members arguing why the Lauderdale County Confederate Monument needs to be relocated.
The brief is in response to a lawsuit filed in 2020 by three Lauderdale County residents, Ralph Long, Ray Styles, and Angela Laughlin. The three called for an injunction to preserve the monument’s location in front of the courthouse.
The suit lists the Florence City Council, Lauderdale County Commission, and the Alabama division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy as defendants, however, Project Say Something, said it was filed in response to their direct actions.
The Southern Poverty Law Center has previously stated that the three Lauderdale County residents’ lawsuit carries no legal weight.
“This is definitely the first step; we’re hopeful that the injunction will be dismissed, and that we can then get our city to move their monument like they promised to do,” Project Say Something founder Camille Bennett said. “That’s the hope, but if not, we will take it as far as we need to take it, including challenging the Memorial Preservation Act.”
Project Say Something is advocating for the monument’s relocation from the Lauderdale County Courthouse to Soldier’s Rest in the Florence City Cemetery where Confederate soldiers are buried. Bennett previously told News 19 that the monument’s dedication speech includes overtly racist language. She added the statue doesn’t belong in a public space as it is not representative of all people who enter the courthouse.
The group has held numerous protests over the past year in downtown Florence including marches, sit-ins, and Occupy Downtown events. Bennett said protests will continue until the monument is relocated.