A protest is planned for Saturday at the Confederate War Memorial in Pioneer Park, which abuts the convention center in downtown, across the street from City Hall. The monument — designed by Frank Teich and backed by the Daughters of the Confederacy — was dedicated in 1897, and has been in Pioneer Park since 1961. The City Council voted to remove it last February, but it’s still there, wrapped in black plastic, thanks to a temporary injunction in July. So it is an unsurprising backdrop for a protest.
Yesterday the city attorney’s office filed an emergency motion with the Court of Appeals to dissolve that temporary injunction, because the 65-foot obelisk at the center of the monument “could seriously injure anyone nearby” if it were to be toppled, and, given recent history involving these sorts of monuments, there is a better than good chance of that happening. Also, it would be increasingly likely that the entire monument would be destroyed, and the city intends to preserve it. Maybe it will be sold like the statue of Robert E. Lee that once stood in Oak Lawn. Senior assistant city attorney Charles Estee wrote:
“Its continued presence as required by the temporary injunction only increases the possibility of its destruction. While it will obviously take time to remove the monument, an immediate ruling by this court that the city is permitted to remove the monument will go a long way in healing the wounds of systemic racism that exists in the country.”