The first attempt to move the statue failed Wednesday. Photo by Peter Simek.

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Dallas’ Robert E. Lee Statue Is (Really, This Time) Coming Down

A judge dissolved the temporary restraining order that halted the statue's removal Wednesday.

A temporary restraining order that halted the removal of Dallas’ Robert E. Lee statue on Wednesday amounted to a brief roadblock on the general’s final ride up and away from his mount at an Oak Lawn park.

After a short hearing at a downtown courthouse Thursday afternoon, Judge Sidney A. Fitzwater dissolved the restraining order, clearing the way for workers to follow through on the City Council’s 13-1 vote resolving to immediately remove and store the bronze statue. The removal may be less immediate than originally planned, as Councilman Dwaine Caraway told reporters outside the courthouse “we’ll take our time” moving the statue. Still, it’s coming down. Once they sort out how, exactly, to pull that thing from its concrete base. Bigger crowbars, maybe.

The restraining order seemed unlikely to hold up (Jim Schutze at the Observer has a good piece today going into why its First Amendment argument was flawed, in this case) but gave a last jolt of hope to the statue’s supporters. And it’s certainly not the end of the heated debate over the city’s remaining Confederate monuments, and the streets and parks bearing the names of Confederates. Shortly after the judge’s ruling today, Kirk Lyons, the controversial lawyer who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Hiram Patterson and the Sons of Confederate Veterans, posted on Facebook that “we fight on.”

Meanwhile, the city’s task force on Confederate monuments meets tonight at 6 p.m., and we all continue to have respectful, cool-headed conversations about this issue.

Comments

  • JamieT

    Until Dallas is re-Reconstructed in the image of Seattle, there can be no Amazon godhead consecrated here.

    • ParleyPPratt

      Given that transportation is one of the criteria, Amazon is never moving to the metroplex.

  • John Lee

    Theses counsel members in Dallas and the Mayor should be ashamed. Polls show less than 20% want statues removed. The 500k to remove one statue could feed homeless, be used for business grants in impoverished neighborhoods, or to add to police fund that is going bankrupt. They were so fast to do what they wanted they didn’t ask what their voters want. They have displayed their brazen ignorance once again. You should all fall on your swords, or resign. Just remember the majority will have the final say when your election come up. Shame on you.

    • Los_Politico

      what council district do you live in?

      • PeterTx52

        I live in District 3 and hopefully now that the statue has been taken down Councilmember Thomas will focus his attention on the problems that plague the district such as the horrible condition of Hampton Road between Ledbetter and Kiest. But I guess removing this statue took precedent

    • JamieT

      “Just remember the majority will have the final say when your election come up”

      No one need wait that long.

      Even though Mayor Mike and his shining eyed Merry Maoist junta have just launched their Purifying Cultural Revolution, there’s no accompanying imperative that the citizenry need continue to feed it financially, particularly given the sort of political integrity we’ve seen demonstrated with the sham, after-the-fact-ratifying “task force”.

      We can assume with high confidence at this point that any new monies entrusted to these people will be treated with the same honesty and integrity as the “task force”, which is to say none at all.

      Simply vote NO on November 7, on everything, and continue to vote down any measure that puts any sort of resources into the hands of people like this who treat the citizenry of Dallas with such overweening arrogance and contempt.

      • Mavdog

        First, are you a resident of Dallas?

        Two, if the answer is yes, are you a masochist?

        The “cut off your nose to spite your face” suggestion to cast a “no” vote on the November 7 bond vote as retribution for the City Council decision to remove the Robert E. Lee statue is inflicting self induced pain. The repairs and infrastructure projects that will be possible with the passage of the bond referendum are needed; anyone who lives in Dallas understands the level of deferred maintenance that exists, and the need for replacing/adding the many items the monies from the bond will provide to improve daily living.

        Conflating a decision on the bond vote with the statue issue is just asinine. Should a Dallas resident view the statue removal as wrong and wishes to express their disgust, then they should either run against the current councilperson (save for Ms. Greyson) or work to elect another candidate of their liking.

  • PeterTx52

    maybe now D magazine could publish a story about the members of the useless Mayor’s taskforce, their expertise and how they were chosen. also could you publish the charter that established the Task Force? that should line out what it is supposed to do. None of the “press” in Dallas such as the DMN, DMag or the DO has done a story about the TF