SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE – PRESS RELEASE
For Immediate Release
David McCallister 813-778-1202
PRO VETERANS ORGANIZATIONS SUE CITY OF LAKELAND FOR PROTECTION OF MUNN PARK WAR MEMORIAL
Lakeland – A lawsuit was filed in Federal Court today against the City of Lakeland and others to prevent the removal of the Historic Veterans Cenotaph from Munn Park. The suit was filed in in response to the action by the Lakeland City Commission last night that reversed the previous decision to require private donations to pay for the cost of taking the cenotaph out of the park.
The Lawsuit includes a request for an Emergency Temporary Restraining Order to that would prevent the City or its employees or contractors to begin removing the monument or to obstruct it from public view.
“The City gave us no other option” said David McCallister, attorney for the plaintiffs. At its regular City Commission meeting last night, the May 7, 2018 decision about who would pay for the Cenotaph’s removal was reversed in a 5-2 vote, with Stephanie Madden casting the deciding vote to change course and allow public funds to be used. Madden attributed her decision to the large turnout of supporters of taking down the memorial, while acknowledging the overwhelming number of calls and emails she had received asking her not to change her mind.
“It really was a mob scene. Most of the people that spoke really want the Cenotaph destroyed, and we don’t expect it to last long in Veterans Park, if we lose our appeal to the Court” said McCallister. One individual who supported the move said of the process “leaving it tells a story but moving it tells a different story” he said. “That’s really one of the issues at hand here”. Madden changed her vote after over two hours of veiled threats and attacks of Commissioners Reed and Franklin, who had already expressed their intent not to change their vote. “If we heard them called racist once we heard it a hundred times” noted McCallister.
HK Edgerton, past president of the NAACP in Asheville, NC, who had appeared before the Commissioners multiple times in the past imploring them not to succumb to the lies and attacks on the veterans memorial, reacted to notification the lawsuit had been filed by saying he is “looking forward to getting some justice”. Mr. Edgerton had a slight altercation with Commissioner Don Selvage last year when Selvage refused to accept a gift of a book about Edgerton’s March to Texas and other information about the service of Black Confederate Veterans.
Edgerton said of Selvage, who was brought back on the Council to fill the vacancy left by Michael Dunn’s resignation Edgerton “It’s pretty bad that people come down here from the north and begin attacking our history and heritage. The only reason he is back on the council is to ‘dog out’ the South”.
“They have the contractor already lined up so it really is a race” at this point concluded McCallister.
SAVE SOUTHERN HERITAGE Inc. is a not for profit corporation that educates & advocates on behalf of Southern Heritage & History. It was started in 2015 in response to the knee-jerk Anti-Southern institutionalized bullying and “Eracism” levied against the people of South Carolina by Governor Nikki Haley, after she broke all previous agreements about how South Carolina’s historical veterans and their symbols should be treated and respected.
The Florida branch was activated in mid-January 2016, in response to three initiatives in the Florida Legislature that are part of a hate campaign led by Anti-American extremists, who refuse to respect the various cultures that make up the fabric of Florida’s society. Since that time, it has grown in membership and has been active in battles over American History and throughout Florida including the “We’ll Remember in November Campaign” that resulted in #heritagehater candidates to lose elections in Florida and others to win. More info: www.sshfl.org
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