Protesters, counter-protesters quarrel over confederate statue in Murray, Ky

Protesters, counter-protesters quarrel over confederate statue in Murray, Ky

MURRAY, Ky. (KFVS) - More than a hundred people came out to Murray, KY, to protest to remove a century-old Confederate statue from the community’s courthouse.

Dozens of counter protesters were on hand as well to make their voices heard as to why it should stay.

Protesters were out in front of the statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee with signs and demands as to why it should be removed and relocated.

“We’ve had several petitions that we want to have it moved and when we heard they were going to keep it, we started a protest and we’ve been out here every night since,” Madison Wathen of Murray, Ky said.

“We understand times change and we need to change with them and adapt as we get new information,” Sherman Neal of Murray, Ky said. “So it’s up to us to help provide that new information; preferable in a non-violent and peaceful manner as we have done for about 46 days now.”

Counter-protesters had a different stance.

“I’ve got eight generations of my family that have lived in Calloway County,” Kenneth Adams of Calloway County said. “I am very proud of what they did. There was a call to arms to defend this county from an invading army. It had absolutely nothing to do with white supremacy or suppression of anybody.”

Adams said the people of Calloway County that know their history know what it means and thinks most of the protesters are from out of town or are temporary residents.

“This is our county. This is our community,” Kenneth Adams said. “That statue is our business and it’s not the business of somebody that comes into this town to get an education, or somebody that lives in Illinois or Indiana or anywhere else that lives in this country.”

Neal said it is the education that is the reason as to why it need the statue to be removed.

“Our K-12 education system is our biggest vulnerability that we have right now,” Neal said. “Part of the reason and part of the problem is because they truly don’t know any better. They learned from textbooks written from information from back then and learned from grandparents who lived during the times when these things were okay. So to have these go away means that we are progressing and we are at a place where we understand the history and the context and that we don’t want this on our property anymore.”

Arguing words were heard from both sides at times but police were there to help to ensure the event was peaceful.

Protesters tell us they will continue to be out at the confederate monument until the statue is moved.

Copyright 2020 KFVS. All rights reserved.