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Confederate statue on the ballot in Tazewell County inspires protest

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TAZEWELL COUNTY, Va. (WVVA) - The question is whether or not the confederate statue in front of the Tazewell County Courthouse will be relocated or will stay where it is.

Residents in Tazewell County have differing opinions on the issue.

"This statue will be moved," Tazewell County resident Bill Bunch said.

"It should stay," Tazewell County resident Betty Maynard said.

Protestors gathered in front of the statue on Saturday to advocate for its removal, an issue that will be decided in the upcoming election.

"We want to remove the stigma that comes with the deep southern confederacy ideology, and the best way to do that is to remove it from our courthouse," Lasandra Thompson, protest organizer, said. "It's in front of our courthouse. It's in front of our judicial system where we're supposed to be legal, and we're supposed to be equal."

But there were bystanders who feel the statue should stay put.

"It's history, and it's been there for years, since I was a little girl," Maynard said. "It's not hurting anything."

"Over 3,000 people attended the dedication of the Monument in 1903, and it has stood on the Courthouse grounds for 117 years as a reminder of these hardships and sacrifices," Eric Whitesell, a Tazewell County resident said. "This monument has been joined in recent times by a monument dedicated to the memory of Tazewell County Veterans who have served in other wars since the Civil War. Both monuments are part of the history of Tazewell County, Virginia. Neither of them should be removed or destroyed just to satisfy the 'cancel history and culture' movement."

Ultimately, it will be the voters in Tazewell County who decide the statue's fate. That will happen on election day, November 3rd.

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Hannah Howard

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