Two groups and several community members are suing a Virginia city and their city council after the council voted to remove a statue of General Robert E. Lee.
The Monument Fund, Inc. and the Virginia Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, Inc. are suing Charlottesville and the Charlottesville City Council for the pending removal of the General Lee statue, as well as a statue of Confederate General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson and the renaming of Lee Park and Jackson Park, as reported by The Cavalier Daily.
The removal of the two statues could cost $700,000, according to Richmond Times-Dispatch. (RELATED: Virginia Town To Move Gen. Lee Statue Despite Poll Showing 87% Against)
The organizations and 11 community residents claim that the removals would break Virginia state code and Paul Goodloe McIntire’s terms regarding the land provided to Charlottesville for the parks. The plaintiffs have also craeted a temporary injunction, barring the city from removing or changing the monuments or park until the case occurs.
“If such [memorials for war veterans] are erected, it shall be unlawful for the authorities of the locality, or any other person or persons, to disturb or interfere with any monuments or memorials so erected, or to prevent its citizens from taking proper measures and exercising proper means for the protection, preservation and care of same,” says Virginia state law.
All of the City Councillors are named as defendants, despite two out of five of them voting to retain the statue. The plaintiffs’ attorney, Elliott Harding, commented on the Council’s intentions.
“They’ve all been a part of the ongoing movement to facilitate these moves regardless of their final vote,” Harding said. “They’ve facilitated this along the way whether or not they voted for it.”
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