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Perennial Confederate monument bill rises again

It would attempt to prevent cities from removing Confederate monuments by charging them $5,000 a day for the act.

Confederate statue in the town square of Tuskegee, Alabama.
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State Sen. Gerald Allen, R-Tuscaloosa, will once again attempt to prevent cities from removing Confederate monuments by charging them $5,000 a day for the act.

The bill has appeared again and again after Montgomery defied the current law and decided to take the current $25,000 violation to rename Jeff Davis Avenue to Fred D Gray Avenue.

Jefferson Davis was the first and only president of the Confederacy; Gray is a prominent civil rights attorney.

Allen drew the ire of some of his colleagues last session when he slipped the language of this bill into legislation designed to exempt the Saturn 1B rocket from the current law, as it proved one of the first major unintended consequences of the bill.

In addition to revising the flat $25,000 fee to a daily $5,000 fee, the bill would also force cities to rename any new structures or parks after whatever historic figure had been honored on the removed monument.

Versions of the bill have previously been carried by former State Rep. Mike Holmes, R-Wetumpka, and APR previously reported that members of the SPLC-labeled hate group Southern Cultural Center took credit on Facebook for helping to draft the bill.

“For the past 8 months the Southern Cultural Center has been a member of a special team of our people to rewrite the disastrously and disappointing Monument 2017 law. This was requested by Representative Mike Holmes  District 31,” the post reads. “The rewrite is complete and Rep Mike Holmes has introduced it into the 2021 Legislative Session.”

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Both Holmes and the Southern Cultural Center denied that the group had written the bill to APR.

The Southern Cultural Center has become active again in recent years, hosting two “national” Confederate neo-confederate gatherings and bringing in far-right speakers to Wetumpka.

Jacob Holmes is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can reach him at [email protected]

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