Judge halts Confederate statue removal

Confederate statue UofL

Construction of the monument's removal began on Friday.

By Kyeland Jackson —

A Jefferson County judge temporarily blocked the removal of the Confederate statue at U of L via a restraining order signed this morning. As of Monday afternoon, workers were still at the site, but did not appear to be touching the statue.

Republican congressional candidate Everett Corley filed the suit Monday against the removal of the statue. Corley called the statue’s removal a “political version of book burning,” and filed on the grounds of irreparable harm to himself and the community.

Mayor Greg Fischer and U of L President James Ramsey announced plans for the statue’s removal Friday morning. That night, protesters gathered around the statue to protest its removal.

“History is being erased,” Mark Morgan, a protester and former army sergeant, said near the monument. “Soldiers don’t fight for political reasons. We fight for the men and women around us.”

The monument has been the site of multiple protests and disagreements during its 120 years on campus. Pan-African Studies Chair Ricky Jones wrote an opinion piece advocating the removal of the statue, saying he and staff have worked for 20 years to remove the statue from university grounds.

Ramsey spoke on U of L’s responsibility to a diverse campus. “Just bringing a monument down doesn’t change behavior,” Ramsey said after the announcement. “We’ve still got more to do as a campus community. We want to not just talk the talk, but walk the walk in terms of embracing diversity of thought, diversity of race, religion and all forms of diversity.”

The statue is presumed to be moved into a museum, but it will be put into storage until an opportune place is found. The area where the statue stands now will be made into a new driving lane to relieve traffic near the renovated Speed Art Museum.

A hearing on the suit will be held Thursday.

Photo by Sarah Rohleder / The Louisville Cardinal

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