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Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans hires lobbying firm

Decatur Metro ATL slideshow

Georgia Sons of Confederate Veterans hires lobbying firm

After the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial "Lost Cause" monument in Decatur Square.
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After the Stand With Charlottesville candlelight vigil on August 13. 2017, in Decatur, Ga., attendees gather to discuss the controversial “Lost Cause” monument in Decatur Square.

The Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans has signaled it intends to fight efforts to remove Confederate monuments in local communities during the 2018 session.

The group announced that, “The Georgia Division, Sons of Confederate Veterans is moving forward with many initiatives for the up-coming 2018 Legislative session that begins in January. We recently hired a professional Lobbyist Firm to represent us at the State Capital and we are moving forward with a big public outreach campaign.”

The announcement doesn’t reference the Confederate monument controversy in Decatur. State Sen. Elena Parent and state Rep. Mary Margaret Oliver are both planning to introduce legislation that would give local governments control over such monuments. Currently state law prohibits their removal.

DeKalb County Commissioners recently approved a resolution calling for the removal of a monument in the Decatur Square. The monument is located by the old DeKalb County courthouse and was constructed in 1908. It is widely seen as a symbol of the Jim Crow era south, a not-so subtle message to black residents who would question the status quo.

The resolution, introduced by DeKalb County Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson, calls for the monument’s removal and also directs the county’s attorney to find out who actually owns it. The monument is located in front of the old courthouse in the Decatur Square. The city of Decatur maintains the county owns it. County officials have been unable to find any commission minutes that show the county formally accepted the monument.

The County Commission’s action follows a similar resolution approved unanimously by the Decatur City Commission.

Activists have demanded the monument’s removal in the wake of a violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. that resulted in the deaths of three people. These groups held a rally and a discussion in the city’s downtown to support removing it. The monument has also been defaced three times since the debate began.

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