Newport News Confederate monument in Denbigh under heat to relocate

Posted at 7:09 PM, Aug 19, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-20 10:36:45-04

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - The Southern Christian Leadership Conference of the Virginia Unit (SCLC) is advocating for a Confederate monument in the Denbigh section of Newport News to be relocated.

The organization sent a request to city council Saturday morning.

However, the SCLC has an alternative plan if the council votes against relocating the monument. They're requesting three additional monuments of civil rights leaders to be right behind the  Confederate monument.

SCLC specifically would like to see monuments of slavery abolitionist Fredrick Douglass, Dr. Curtis W Harris who's worked alongside Dr. Martin Luther King in the 1950's, and Newport News native and community activist Reverend Marcellus Harris Jr.

SCLC Virginia unit president Andrew Shannon said, "This individuals are Civil Rights leaders. They fought for freedom, justice and equality for all. This Confederate monument does not represent freedom justice and equality for all. It represents racial hatred, division and bigotry."

Moving the Confederate monument could be a complicated procedure because it will include more than the Newport News city council's approval.

The director of Parks and Recreation, Michael Poplawski said, "This property has an easement through the Virginia Department of Historic Resources that allows the state to have say over the property."

News 3 has reached out to a Newport News city council member, Tina Vick, but has not heard back.

The SCLC said the next city council meeting is on September 12th.