Petition signatures grow, push to remove statue continues

Petition signatures grow, push to remove statue continues

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) – Showing Up for Racial Justice is hoping to find more neighbors like Barbara Young.

"I think it would be best if we took it down," Young said.

Young and the civil rights organization want the John B. Castleman statue gone. They believe it promotes the racist ideas of the confederacy.

Showing Up for Racial Justice went door-to-door on Saturday informing neighbors of their request to move the statue. They brought along a petition for neighbors to sign.

The monument was built in 1913. Castleman was a confederate officer during the Civil War.

After the war, he was sentenced to death for spying on the U.S. However, he was pardoned.

Castleman later joined the U.S. Army, led the Louisville Legion, and played a role in establishing the Olmsted Park system.

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There was a 100-year celebration for the monument in 2013.

"Those are positive things, the other part is a very small part of his life. there's so much more to that," Rosemary Drybrough said.

The push to move the statue comes after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.

As activists moved from door knocking to marching on Saturday, things remained peaceful. However, it was clear ideas were clashing.

A woman who only wanted to be referred to as "Ginny" is a relative of Castleman's. She tore off a sign protesters hung on the statue that read "No Room for Racism."

"We all get together and spend money to restore him," Ginny said. "He's an icon of this area and there's no reason for them to do that. Go put your energy into something else."

Mayor Greg Fischer announced Friday his plan to evaluate any local art or monuments that could be viewed as honoring bigotry, racism, or slavery.

The Commission on Public Art will meet on September sixth to identify any works which warrant further evaluation.

The public will be allowed to speak at the meeting.

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