Remove Confederate statue or face possible legal action, Winston-Salem tells Daughters of the Confederacy https://t.co/OfLKiaJn2m
— Winston-SalemJournal (@JournalNow) January 2, 2019
A North Carolina city has told the owner of a recently vandalized Confederate monument to remove it by Jan. 31 or face a possible lawsuit.
The Winston-Salem Journal reports the city's mayor, Allen Joines, announced at Tuesday's Emancipation Proclamation ceremony that the United Daughters of the Confederacy could face legal action if the group doesn't comply.
In an interview with WUNC, Joines said the city is prepared to take legal action to force the statue's relocation on the grounds that it is a public nuisance.
"The statue is a symbol of oppression, of slavery, and the subjugation of the African-American people -- and it's hurtful to many in our community," Joines said.
State law makes it difficult to remove monuments on public property, but the Confederate Soldiers Monument is on private property.
Last week, someone wrote "cowards & traitors" on the statue's base. It was previously vandalized after the 2017 deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Considering that and the confrontations over Confederate monuments elsewhere, the city attorney believes it creates a public nuisance.
"We're certainly trying to be somewhat proactive, and that's the reason we reached out to the Daughters of the Confederacy, probably more than a year ago, to offer this alternative location," said Joines about the city's previous request to relocate the statue to the Salem cemetery.
The United Daughters of the Confederacy declined the previous offer to move the monument at the city's expense. Now the city is giving a January 31st deadline to move the statue.