LILBURN, Ga. (CBS46) -- Some people who live in Gwinnett County are upset about a proposed Gandhi statue and 100 fruit trees going up at Bryson Park.

“We’re going to stop it from happening,” Cheryle Renee Moses, a community activist said.

Gwinnett County activists held a community rally at Bryson Park to stop the installation of a controversial Gandhi statue and 100 fruit trees for a fruit forest that are supposed to be planted at Bryson Park.

“Gandhi statues are being taken down all around the world,” Moses said, “Gandhi was a humanitarian and wanted equality and justice, but he wanted it for his community, but he thought of Africans as being subhuman.”

On top of that, Moses said Gwinnett County Parks and Recreation Directors and the Board of Commissioners approved this without placing it before the general public for comments.

“Wow, this is a big project. We should have heard about this from somewhere,” Moses added.

She said many people contacted commissioners to complain.

“Miraculously, it appeared on their agenda for October 1,” Moses added.

Gwinnett’s Board of Commissioners accepted the donation of 100 fruit trees from Indian Friends of Atlanta for the food forest, along with a statue of Gandhi, which will be on a pedestal in the middle of the food forest.

They made the donation to mark what would’ve been the 150th birthday of the Indian Independence Leader, Gandhi.

“I’m alarmed, yes, that this kind of thing could go on without public approval,” one attendee, Edson Lalor said.

“Gwinnett County is an international place, African-Americans are the majority minority in Gwinnett County, so to put up a statue of a person who was racist against Africans is insulting to many of the citizens that live here,” Moses said. “These are their tax dollars going to maintain the erection of [a statue of] a man who could not stand us.”

Moses said since this proposal never went through the proper channels, policies, and procedures, they’re hiring a lawyer to stop it before it goes up on October 19.

“An individual or groups could actually push on their community, their agenda, without the community’s approval …that’s just not right,” Lalor added.

According to Gwinnett County communications director Joe Sorenson: On October 1, the Board of Commissioners accepted a donation of a 100 fruit trees from the Indian Friends of Atlanta, as well as the volunteer assistance in planting the trees, to be utilized for the purposes of establishing a food forest at Bryson Park. The estimated value is $8,000.00.

Indian Friends of Atlanta issued the following statement: 

Food Forest at Bryson park is the community project that IFA has undertaken. The main objective of the project is feed the hunger to help the community. It is the pilot project from Gwinnett county and we are proud to be associated with this project. The main intent of the project is to feed the hunger that can be self sustaining. Gandhi is an recognized icon of the India and world. On his 150th birthday, we want to recognize the man that has shown the world to fight without arms. I think this is the last we can do recognized him on this 150th birthday. another example of a similar initiative is Indian American council who tied up with Atlanta food bank and has already raised more than half million meals since October 2nd with goal of more than 1 million meals.

As with any leader there are some allegations that are unproven, unsustainable and unverified. We had approached the protestors to find out the reasons, apparently they have paid by somebody to hold the placards and the ironic time is that they do not know what they are protesting against and they do not who is Gandhi.

Apparently this group or gentleman has used similar tactics to intimidate the organization that maintains the Gandhi statue in downtown.

Sunil Savili

Founding chairman

IFA team

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(7) comments

davidmcbride1963

This discussion seems somewhat misguided given Gandhi was both black himself and vocally not only strongly against discrimination of any kind but also against any sort of conduct harmful in any way towards any kind of life. His use in early writings of the term Kaffir seems from the context to be in its original Arabic sense - and everything about his character and conduct indicates a sincere desire to do no harm. In support of his defense of black victims of racism and discrimination we can find many examples, a good one being his stance against the colour bar act of 1911. Because of his pluralism, he may be considered a heretic by some Hindus but without a doubt his methods saved the people of India (without violence) from the destruction brought on by a genocidal colonial rule that caused in excess of a billion excess deaths during its period. Students of the history of the American civil rights movement are led by the teachings of Martin Luther King to the writings of Gandhi. We would all be well advised to read his works ourselves before adopting ideas fomented in the contemporary propaganda we refer to as popular discourse.

nick0786

David, little knowledge is dangerous... ...In India, Gandhi's sole aim was to maintain Indo-ARYAN supremacy over the 85% aboriginal/bahujans called as Shudras(slaves). Gandhi was fine with the BRITISH. But, the moment BRITISH started social reforms for the 85% low caste (eg. Simon Commission/Universal Suffrage), GANDHI started Quit India movement against the BRITISH. Young GANDHI was RACIST/Hated blacks, and the so called MATURED GANDHI hated low castes... ...There is a difference between real GANDHI and PROPAGANDA GANDHI (the GANDHI u r mentioning).

Psyop2019

Should we tear down the Lincoln Memorial as well? People need to stop applying today's values to historical figures...



"I will say then that I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, [applause]-that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people; and I will say in addition to this that there is a physical difference between the white and black races which I believe will forever forbid the two races living together on terms of social and political equality. And inasmuch as they cannot so live, while they do remain together there must be the position of superior and inferior, and I as much as any other man am in favor of having the superior position assigned to the white race. I say upon this occasion I do not perceive that because the white man is to have the superior position the negro should be denied every thing. " - Abraham Lincoln

DWC

Martin Luther King Jr. acknowledged a tremendous debt to Gandhi in shaping his views on how to best handle conflict. The protesters of Gandhi's monument need to do a better job with their research before labeling Gandhi a racist. Like King, Gandhi sacrificed his life fighting racism and prejudice. Here is an excerpt of a speech given by Dr. King while he was visiting India in 1959. The entire article can be found at:

https://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=99480326



"Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity. In a world since Mahatma Gandhi embodied in his life certain universal principles that are inherent in the moral structure of the universe, and these principles are as inescapable as the law of gravitation... Many years ago, when Abraham Lincoln was shot - and incidentally, he was shot for the same reason that Mahatma Gandhi, was shot for, namely, for committing the crime of wanting to heal the wounds of a divided nation - and when he was shot, Secretary Stanton stood by the dead body of the great leader and said these words: Now he belongs to the ages. And in a real sense, we can say the same thing about Mahatma Gandhi, and even in stronger terms: Now he belongs to the ages. And if this age is to survive, it must follow the way of love and nonviolence that he so nobly illustrated in his life. And Mahatma Gandhi may well be God's appeal to this generation, for in a day when sputniks and explorers dash through outer space and guided ballistic missiles are carving highways of death through the stratosphere, no nation can win a war. Today, we no longer have a choice between violence and nonviolence; it is either nonviolence or nonexistence."

nick0786

Dr. King knew the propaganda GANDHI... ...not the real forked tongue GANDHI.



"Gandhi and his minions, do not let them enter your town or villages. If they do, you must chase them away. They (Gandhi and Gandhi's minions) are a threat to our society."



~Respected Sir Chhotu Ram Ji.

Gurru87

Mlk jr had a picture of Gandhi in his office. He must be racist too then.

nick0786

Dr. King knew the propaganda GANDHI... ...not the real forked tongue GANDHI.



"Gandhi and his minions, do not let them enter your town or villages. If they do, you must chase them away. They (Gandhi and Gandhi's minions) are a threat to our society."



~Respected Sir Chhotu Ram Ji.

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