by Jeremy Morrison
The Pensacola City Council appears poised to consider the fate of the city’s Confederate monument in September. Council President Brian Spencer has slated a discussion for the Sept. 14 meeting concerning the “Establishment, Naming and Preservation of Historical Resources.”
According to a Aug. 24 city press release, council will not dive into a debate at the September meeting, but will instead consider the need to schedule a special meeting dedicated to getting the public’s input on the subject. The discussion will also provide a forum to review a policy the council approved in 2000, which offers protections for historical resources, such as the monument in Lee Square, and outlines a process to address any changes made to such resources.
Like other communities around the South and beyond, Pensacola is currently considering what to do with its Confederate monument. The monuments — which some people feel represent southern heritage, while others feel they are a symbol of division and hate — are under fire following the Aug. 12 death of a counter-protester in Charlottesville, Va., where white nationalists had congregated to protest the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee.
In Pensacola, petitions have been launched both in support of keeping the monument, as well as removing it from Lee Square. Mayor Ashton Hayward, as well as several council members, have indicated they would like to see the monument moved.
For background, see “Confederate Dead? What Will Become of Pensacola’s Civil War Memorial?”