NAACP president presents plan on Lee statue to city council Monday

The debate over a controversial confederate statue in downtown Fort Myers continues.

NAACP President James Muwakkil presented his reasons to remove the Robert E. Lee bust Monday to the city council.

But many people who want it to stay also plan to speak out.

“Do not come to this meeting if you cannot stand confrontation because chances are we are going to get confronted,” Muwakkil said.

Muwakkil told the city Monday to bring down the statue or he’ll do it himself.

“The statue’s coming down,” he said.

He wants the statue relocated to a history museum. But those who want it to stay where it is say it’s part of history and they also showed up to the council meeting to voice their opinions.

“It falls under the same category as these monuments. It was built as a sign of respect,” said Paige Rausch of Fort Myers.

Muwakkil says it’s the first time he’s presented this to the city council, but attorney Grant Alley says they’ve heard the proposal many times before.

“The city has been considering it but it hasn’t come to a head,” he said.

Alley doesn’t foresee a decision being made any time soon.

“The best that the city and the mayor can do is allow a forum where people can come and be heard,” he said.

Alley adds that there have been three or four public forums before Monday’s, and the city takes it all in, but sometimes no decision is a decision.

Reporter:Britni McDonald
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