Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney has set up a Memorial Avenue Commission to examine what to do with the Confederate statues on Monument Avenue – but he already has said the statues should stay where they are, just with some added “context,” like signage. The Richmond (Virginia) Defenders have been calling for the statues to come down since 2006, when they held a press conference on the 200th anniversary of the birth of Robert E. Lee at the Lee statue with King Salim Khalfani of the Virginia State Conference NAACP. The commission began its work July 31, 2017 and will hold public meetings on Aug. 9 and Sept. 13 to get community input. On July 29 an Open Letter was sent to the commission and to local, national and international news media. The letter demanded that taking down the statues be one of the options to be considered; that opponents of the statues be added to the commission; and that the commission invite New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to speak at the first public hearing to speak about why his city has taken down its Confederate monuments. Opposition has been reported on by national media such as NBC News, Washington Post, Washington Times, WTOP (D.C.), San Francisco Chronicle, Star Tribune (Minneapolis) and the New Orleans Advocate, as well as the Richmond TImes-Dispatch and Channel 12 news. We encourage everyone to be at both public hearings and demand that these white-supremacist tributes to the slavery-defending Confederacy be taken down.  Feedback is also being accepted online at monumentavenuecommission.org.

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