Activists want statue of Jefferson Davis removed, boycott park

Activists boycott park, want statue removed
Updated: Jun. 12, 2017 at 6:41 PM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Some people are boycotting one famous city park in Memphis because they believe it's time for a change.

Activists are asking for the removal of the Jefferson Davis Statue.

Organizers of the boycott said they will continue to boycott until the statute of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis is removed from the 4th Bluff Park.

"Having the statutes is another thing that says black people don't matter in Memphis," boycott organizer Tami Sawyer said.

Sawyer said the hashtag #takeemdown901 is just one element in a rising boycott.

Sawyer is asking Memphians to boycott events at the 4th Bluff Park, home to the Jefferson Davis Statue.

"As beautifully as the statue is decorated. I'm an artist and can appreciate that, it's still standing for something that the entire country said we are not having it," Memphian Neely Jones said.

The 4th Bluff Park is home to popular summer events like "Downtown Yoga in the Park" and River Play pop-up park project.

Not everyone who uses the park agrees a boycott is the best way to take action.

"How are we going to come together if we keep separating ourselves," Memphian Lavonzella Moore said.

"It has to be something more than just boycotting the parks because not everyone is going to follow that," Jones said.

Memphis City Council voted to take down the Nathan Bedford Forrest Statue at the Health Sciences Park in 2015.

The city also filed a waiver with the Tennessee Historical Commission to take it down. But, the waiver was denied. According to state law, that waiver is needed to remove any monument erected in honor of a historic military figure.

So far, the city has not filed a waiver to remove the Jefferson Davis Statue.

Organizers are planning an upcoming meeting on June 20 to talk about organizing this boycott.

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