Protesters gather to prevent repairs of Civil War general, Ku Klux Klan leader monument

24 Aug 2012

A group of about 20 protesters have gathered at Live Oak Cemetery Thursday in hopes of preventing repairs to a monument of Confederate Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest from being completed.

Protesters gathered at the site around 9 a.m. and plan to stay until the construction workers leave. Since their arrival, the group has been chanting, singing and praying around the construction zone.

The protest group is led by Malika Sanders-Fortier, a member of the Grassroots Democracy Commission. Protesters say Forrest was the first grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, and they want the monument taken down.

Friends of Forrest, the organization funding the repairs, however, says Forrest should be honored for defending Selma against Union troops during the Civil War.

"They are determined to keep this monument and we are doubly-determined to see it taken down," said Sanders.

Pat Godwin, a member of the Friends of Forrest organization, said she had no comment on the protest or monument controversy when reached by phone.

A petition asking the Selma City Council to remove the monument on has received more than 64,000 signatures. Sanders plans to bring the petition to the City Council next Tuesday.

The monument was originally built in 2000 in the courtyard of the Smitherman Building. It was later moved to Confederate Circle in Live Oak Cemetery.

The bust of Gen. Forrest was stolen in March of 2012.

Copyright 2012 WWNT 1450 AM

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