Two online petitions have gained significant traction since white supremacist violence rocked Charlottesville, VA over the weekend. One petition calls for removing the Confederate Memorial from the grounds of the old DeKalb County Courthouse in downtown Decatur, while another calls for a name change to Confederate Avenue in Grant Park.
A petition to remove the Decatur monument was already close to its 750 signature goal by 10 p.m. on Monday night. The petition calls for the removal of the “Lost Cause” obelisk that stands prominently outside the historic courthouse building on the Decatur square. The monument was erected in 1908 to commemorate the soldiers and the loss of the Civil War by the south.
A second petition is calling for the change of Confederate Avenue in Grant Park. It had 5,025 signatures of a 7,500 goal by Monday night. Mayor Kasim Reed released a statement on Monday saying that flags would be flown at half-staff at City Hall in honor of those who died in the Charlottesville violence, and also said his office would investigate changing street names.
“Over the past two days, Atlanta residents have started petitions and called for city streets bearing the name of the Confederacy or Confederate leaders to be renamed. I will carefully consider these petitions, because symbols matter, and as those espousing hate-filled ideologies grow bolder, we must grow stronger in defense of our values,” Reed said in the statement.
The city is also weighing whether to remove the Peace Monument in Piedmont Park, which was spray painted red and damaged during a protest on Sunday night, according to a report from WABE news. The Peace Monument depicts a Confederate soldier laying down his arms at the feet of an angel and was created to promote peace between the north and south after the Civil War. Read more about the monument’s history at this link from the AJC.