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Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights hosting a rally on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

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Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights hosting a rally on Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Student organizers from left to right, Bethani Thomas, Genesis Reddicks, Koan Roy-Meighoo and Julian Fortuna hold a sign highlighting the late Congressman John Lewis’ support of Native rights as they stand next to the ‘Indian War’ cannon after a March 20 Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights ‘Decolonize Decatur Day’ press conference calling for DeKalb County to remove the cannon from the Decatur Square. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA – The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights is holding a protest and rally on Monday, Oct. 11, at 3:45 p.m. on the Decatur Square to call on DeKalb County to remove the “Indian War” cannon.

On Sept. 28, DeKalb County Commissioner Ted Terry introduced a resolution to remove the cannon. The resolution was deferred for two weeks to be considered by the planning, economic development & community services committee before coming to the Board of Commissioners for a decision.

The resolution is on the agenda for the Board of Commissioner’s upcoming meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 12. The board will meet at 9 a.m. via Zoom.

The protest and rally will call on county leaders to remove the genocide cannon that has stood for 115 years.This will be the third Indigenous Peoples’ Day event organized by Beacon Hill, according to a press release.

For more than a year since the removal of the Lost Cause monument on the eve of Juneteenth 2020, Beacon Hill and its Decolonize Decatur Committee has turned its attention to the removal of this other symbol of hate and white supremacy in the community.

The cannon was placed in Decatur in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and memorializes the removal of Indigenous people following the Creek Indian War of 1836. The war was a consequence of the Indian Removal Act of 1830, which President Andrew Jackson strongly supported, according to a report from the National Park Service. In 1821, Georgia forced the sale of half of the remaining Creek land, including the land that is now the city of Decatur, which was taken by white settlers in a land lottery.

The UDC also installed a confederate monument that was removed in 2020. The Decatur City Commission in December adopted a resolution in support of the cannon’s removal.

Earlier this year, Muscogee elder John Winterhawk used a public comment to ask the county commission, “Do we want to tell stories of war and being supreme and taking over peoples’ lands, destroying their way of life, and removing them to another place they don’t know?”

“Please remove this weapon of war,” he added. The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights and its Decolonize Decatur Committee remain committed to continue working to educate the community about its true history and take the necessary steps toward reparations.

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