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Confederate Cannons Cleaned Out Of Memphis Park

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Rob Shimshock Education Reporter

A nonprofit organization removed Confederate cannons from a Memphis park Wednesday after cleaning out its statues of former President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest.

Memphis Greenspace Inc took down four cannon replicas in Fourth Bluff Park, reported Fox13. The Sons of Confederate Veterans purchased and installed the cannons in 2012.

“I think it’s disturbing that anything historical has got to come down and parks have to be devastated and get cleaned out,” Lee Millar, a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans, told Fox13, claiming that Memphis Greenspace was violating a court injunction by removing the cannons. “Look at that pile of rubble back there. Does that look like it’s being preserved? Not at all.”

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Davidson County Chancellor Ellen Hobbs Lyle issued the injunction Millar cited in January, but the order only temporarily barred Memphis Greenspace from removing Confederate statues, according to Commercial Appeal. Lyle lifted the injunction in May and said the nonprofit’s removal of the statues was legal because the park became private property when Memphis transferred its ownership to Memphis Greenspace.

“It’s looking good, it’s a clean slate now,” Memphis Greenspace CEO Van Turner told Fox13, classifying removal of the Confederate monuments and other memorabilia as steps taken to keep the park safe. “We are going to allow Memphians to decide what they want in this space.”

Memphis is not the only city taking down Confederate memorials. State and local governments have removed 110 or more of the assets since Dylann Roof’s 2015 Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting. (RELATED: At This Rate, Confederate Statues Could Be Gone In 50 Years)

“People across the country are waking up to the reality that these tributes to the Confederacy perpetuate the idea of white supremacy and glorify a regime that supported the torture, murder and enslavement of black people,” Southern Poverty Law Center intelligence project director Heidi Beirich said in June.

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