Demonstrators march at Stone Mountain demanding removal of Confederate carving

Demonstrators march at Stone Mountain demanding removal of Confederate carving
STONE MOUNTAIN, GA - JUNE 16: A protestor holds a Black Lives Matter sign in front of the Confederate carving in Stone Mountain Park on June 16, 2020 in Stone Mountain, Georgia. The march is to protest confederate monuments and recent police shootings. Stone Mountain Park features a Confederate Memorial carving depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, President Jefferson Davis. (Photo by Jessica McGowan/Getty Images) (Jessica McGowan/Getty Images)

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — Demonstrators marched at Stone Mountain Park in Georgia Saturday demanding the removal of the Confederate memorials there.

The carving has been a lightning rod for controversy for years.

DeKalb County’s NAACP branch organized Saturday’s event in the wake of the removals of Confederate monuments across the country, including one in nearby Decatur Square last week.

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“We’re going to Stone Mountain where all of the white supremacy, racial bigotry, all of that is hidden in that mountain, so why not march there to let them know we’re not going to take it any more,” Branch President Teresa Hardy said.

Hardy said protesters are going to keep marching until they get justice.

“How we do it is us coming together, and then we are going to make sure we go and vote and put people in office that will help legislate to have things removed that hate in the right way,” Hardy said.

Part of the event Saturday also focused on promoting voter awareness and registering people to vote.

Martin O’Toole, with the Georgia division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans, is opposed to removing the carving.

“Their goal seems to be to censor and destroy,” O’Toole said. “This is part of American history and they cannot understand what the nation’s foundational core was without studying history. To judge by what they are saying, they want to root up anything that’s older than 48 hours old.”

Hardy and others said it will be up to lawmakers ultimately to decide whether to change things at Stone Mountain.

The carving is protected under Georgia law so removing it and making other changes would require a repeal of that state law.