Protesters Gather At Confederate Statue; It May Be Relocated Anyway

Aug 17, 2017

Protesters gathered Thursday at the Confederate statue in downtown Tampa. It happened the day after Hillsborough County Commissioners backtracked on removing it from public display.

A group gathered around the 1911-era statue at the county courthouse. Longtime activist Cloe Coney compared the U.S. with countries such as Germany, which after World War II didn't allow public displays of reverence for disgraced political movements.

"The citizens there don't create monuments to Nazis. They don't name their schools after Hitler," she said. "I'm saying today that if they can do that in Germany, why aren't we doing this in the United States, here in Tampa? It is shameful that the county commissioners do not listen to us."

But their ire may be short-lived.

County Commissioners said Wednesday that if the public did not raise about $140,000 dollars - the remainder of the money needed to move the statue - it would stay at the County Courthouse. One day later, that ceiling was shattered.

Leading the pack was the Greater Tampa Chamber of Commerce, which ponied up half of the amount - $70,000. The head of a Tampa investment firm gave $50,000, and a Go Fund Me account has so far raised more than $50,000 - led by former Tampa Bay Buccaneers coach Tony Dungy, who chipped in $5,000.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn gave $1,000, and Tampa Bay sports teams joined in, with donations coming from the Buccaneers, Rays and Lightning.

Credit Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media