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Locals take action on confederate statue

Posted at 12:00 AM, Apr 17, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-17 00:00:46-04

FORT MYERS, Fla., -- Locals waited nearly three hours to have their opinions heard regarding the Robert E. Lee bust at the Fort Myers City Council agenda meeting, Monday. 

“It was a statement to put up Robert E. Lee and it will be a statement to take it down," said Betzaira Mayorga, an FGCU student who spoke at the meeting. 

Those for and against the removal and relocation of the statue voiced their concerns.

Jason Boeckman, a leader of Showing up for Racial Justice or SURGE, says that the bust is a symbol of racial discrimination and is asking the Council to get involved. 

"We'd like to see the City Council to show leadership and willingness to have this conversation," he said. "It’s an important conversation that we need to have.” 

Councilman Fred Burson says he understands the feelings towards the bust, but doesn't believe it's the problem. 

“Taking it down doesn’t remove that hurt," said Burson. "We should use that object as a teaching moment, regardless of your point of view.” 

The statue is owned by the Daughters of the Confederacy. Fox 4 has reached out to the organization multiple times, but they have not responded. They did not attend the meeting.