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Group wants return of Confederate memorial in Bradenton

An empty slab greeted visitors to the Manatee County Courthouse where the Confederate monument previously stood. The monument has been the subject of demonstrations, both for and against its presence.
An empty slab greeted visitors to the Manatee County Courthouse where the Confederate monument previously stood. The monument has been the subject of demonstrations, both for and against its presence. ttompkins@bradenton.com

A grassroots initiative will call for the return of the Confederate memorial in Bradenton on Tuesday.

Those behind the RESTORE initiative and coalition of residents plan to hold a press conference at 10:30 a.m. Tuesday outside the Manatee County courthouse. There, organizers will announce the forming of the coalition and an online petition. Also, there will include statements from the various coalition groups involved, according to a press release on the announcement.

Manatee County removed the Confederate memorial early Thursday morning, after the county commission voted 4-3 to remove the memorial and place it into storage. The memorial was broken in the process of being moved.

It cost the county $12,700 to remove the statue.

The decision came the day after hundreds of protestors marched on the county courthouse, with the majority of them being for the removal.

The press release from Save Southern Heritage announcing the coalition and petition stated Confederate memorials have “been weaponized to intimidate, threaten and bully elected officials into removing them,” calling the memorials “previously virtually un-noticed.”

However, some who called for it to be removed said the memorial honors those who fought for slavery.

Those expected to attend include members of America First - Team Manatee, The Manatee Minutemen, The Paul Revere Society, Save Their Honor, Save Southern Heritage - Florida, The Sons of Confederate Veterans and other concerned citizens, according to the press release.

Check back with Bradenton.com for coverage of the Tuesday morning press conference.

Sara Nealeigh: 941-745-7081, @saranealeigh

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