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(VIDEO) Indigo Girls amplify call to remove ‘Indian War’ cannon from Decatur Square

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(VIDEO) Indigo Girls amplify call to remove ‘Indian War’ cannon from Decatur Square

Grammy Award winning Indigo Girls, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, headlined the Amplify Decatur Music Festival on Saturday, Oct. 2. Photo by Dean Hesse.

Decatur, GA — During the Amplify Decatur concert in Decatur on Oct. 2, the Indigo Girls joined calls to remove the Indian War cannon from the Decatur Square.

The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners will soon consider removing the controversial “Indian War” cannon from the Decatur Square. The resolution was introduced by Commissioner Ted Terry on Sept. 28 and was backed by Commissioner Mereda Davis Johnson.

The cannon was placed in Decatur in 1906 by the United Daughters of the Confederacy and memorializes the removal of Indigenous peoples 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.

On Monday, Oct. 11, there will be a protest at the cannon at 3:45 p.m. in honor of Indigenous Peoples Day.

Flyer provided to Decaturish

The cannon is not publicly owned and is not a monument as defined by state law, according to the resolution being considered by the County Commission. The cannon will be moved to an appropriate storage facility within 90 days.

Members of the community continued to encourage the commissioners to remove the cannon. Some have suggested replacing the cannon with a memorial or artwork that commemorates Indigenous people and also educates the public.

With Indigenous People’s Day approaching on Oct. 11, Paul McLennan, a member of the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, recently asked the county commission to take action, pass the resolution and remove the genocide cannon. Beacon Hill has gathered more than 1,800 signatures on a petition in favor of removal. He shared some comments that accompanied the signatures.

“No need for a cannon on public property that commemorates the decimation of Indigenous people and their forced removal,” McLennan said when sharing the comments. “There are many great moments in DeKalb history that could be commemorated with a statue. All of them I’d be proud to show my Black son. This cannon isn’t on that list.”

Reporter Zoe Seiler and writer Alex Brown contributed to this story. 

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