107-year-old Confederate monument removed in Rockdale County

A Confederate statue that stood in the heart of old-town Conyers for 107 years is now gone.

Channel 2 Action News was there as crews removed late Tuesday night.

Rockdale County says it will relocate the monument, though a final decision on that hasn’t been made yet as to where.

A group of collegiate activists started a campaign to have the statue removed. In less than a week, they received more than 1,200 signatures on a petition demanding the removal of the monument.

Channel 2′s Kristen Holloway talked to people who watched the monument come down about what the moment meant.

[Confederate memorial removed from Decatur square]

“I somewhat feel liberated and I’m proud that Rockdale has taken the initiative to do this,” said activist Wendy Roudette.

There was a crowd outside the county courthouse Tuesday night that clapped and cheered as the crews hoisted the monument into the air.

“To see it down, it was like something lifted off my shoulders. It really feels good. And to see all these people out here different race supporting this it’s amazing,” Roudette said.

[Student group who pushed for Confederate memorial removal says it’s only the 1st step]

Rockdale County resident Alonzo Hill said the statue is a symbol of white supremacy and hate.

“When we talk about the courthouse, that’s where people go in seeking equal justice,” Hill said. “What makes you think you can go in that court room and receive equal justice if your African American?”

Board of Commissioners Chairman Oz Nesbitt on Monday said he was looking into the legal process to have it removed and relocated.

“It’s a bittersweet thing tonight. Some people are disappointed, and some people are really excited,” Nesbitt said.

A few people that Holloway talked to were sad to see it go.

“It’s been here over 100 years and it represents the South,” Jack Fantauzzi said. “You can take the lion out of the jungle but you can’t take the jungle out of the lion.”

“It’s not about a black thing or a white thing. We’re Americans,” Margaret Lilly said. “These men were Americans. We’re disrespecting them so bad by doing this.”

County officials are talking about relocating the statue to the old cemetery in Rockdale County where there are Confederate graves.

Comments on this article