Demonstrators march on Stone Mountain to demand removal of Confederate carving

Demonstrators march on Stone Mountain to demand removal of Confederate carving

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Demonstrators marched at Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb County Saturday to demand the removal of the Confederate memorials there.

Channel 2′s Mike Petchenik talked with NAACP leaders about the renewed push to have the iconic stone carving on the side of the mountain removed.

The carving has been a lightning rod for controversy for years.

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DeKalb’s NAACP branch organized Saturday’s event in the wake of removal of Confederate monuments across the country, including the one in nearby Decatur Square last week.

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Branch president Teresa Hardy said she believes it’s time for the carving to come down.

“We’re going to Stone Mountain where all of the white supremacy, racial bigotry, all of that is hidden in that mountain, so why not march there to let them know we’re not going to take it any more,” Hardy said.

Hardy said protesters are going to keep marching until they get justice.

"How we do it is us coming together, and then we are going to make sure we go and vote and put people in office that will help legislate to have things removed that hate in the right way," Hardy said.

Part of the event Saturday also focused on promoting voter awareness and registering people to vote.

Petchenik talked to Martin O'Toole, who is with the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans about the push to remove the carving.

“Their goal seems to be to censor and destroy,” O’Toole said. “This is part of American history and they cannot understand what the nation’s foundational core was without studying history. To judge by what they are saying, they want to root up anything that’s older than 48 hours old.”

Hardy and others said it will be up to lawmakers ultimately to decide whether to change things at Stone Mountain.

The carving is protected under Georgia law so removing it and making other changes would require a repeal of that state law.

Confederate memorial removed from Decatur square