Panel on Atlanta's Confederate symbols to hold first meeting Wed - CBS46 News

Panel on Atlanta's Confederate symbols to hold first meeting Wednesday

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Source: WGCL Source: WGCL

A group of local community leaders will meet on Wednesday to begin the process of deciding whether Atlanta’s Confederate monuments and streets names should stay or go.

Last week, Mayor Kasim Reed and members of the city council announced the creation of a Confederate Monuments Advisory Committee. Five men and six women will take a look at city-owned landmarks and help decide how to handle them.

The meeting will take place at 6 p.m. Wednesday. 

According to a spokeswoman for Reed, the committee plans to solicit feedback from historians, business leaders and residents to provide context and perspective for the landmarks in the city limits.

The committee will begin the process of first deciding what the city can control. For example, any Confederate monument on state property will be a state decision. However, renaming streets will be a decision the panel can consider. Confederate Avenue in Southeast Atlanta will no doubt be a big topic of debate.

A sampling of opinions from the public shows the decisions won't be easy.

“Some of the statues are for heroes of the war, and I think that’s more important than what side they were on, but they were wonderful leaders,” said Cherry Frost.

“You don’t want symbols of hate sticking around if we’re trying to change the country,” said Michelle Thomas. “Let’s take down the bad symbols.”

“I think they belong in museums,” said Sarah Schultz. “I don’t think that they have a place, especially statues. It’s glorifying things that don’t necessarily need to be glorified.”

“There’s so many things that everybody wants to protest about, be against rather than just trying to work together to make this a better U.S.,” said Troy Washington.

The issue of erasing symbols of the Confederacy resurfaced after violent and deadly protests in Charlottesville, Virginia when white nationalists clashed with counter-protesters after the city agreed to remove a statue of Robert E. Lee.

Police charged James Fields, Jr. with murder after officials said he struck and killed a woman with a car. 

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