Robert E. Lee pedestal removed by the City of Fort Myers

Published: January 12, 2022 5:53 PM EST
Updated: January 12, 2022 6:52 PM EST

A controversial pedestal was taken down in Fort Myers without notice.

The City of Fort Myers removed the Robert E. Lee pedestal from it’s spot on Monroe Street early Wednesday morning.

The site where the general once say has been the site of protest for years.

The NAACP of Lee County fought for its removal for years.

“Blacks now can see, that America cares about them, whites included, care about Black people,” said Lee County NAACP President James Muwakkil. “The evidence is right here where I’m standing.”

The patch of grass shows where the Robert E. Lee pedestal in Fort Myers once stood. (CREDIT: WINK News)

Muwakkil said this simple act offers new hope for the Black community.

“Anything is possible in America. It’s gone,” Muwakkil said. “People would say that it would only leave under their dead bodies, and now we see, that justice has prevailed and it is promised in the Constitution. So, we should not stop fighting.”

Even though the city approved the removal of the statue and its pedestal a year ago, it was pricey to get it done.

City leaders needed 12 months to negotiate the cost to an acceptable level.

As for the fate of the statue and the pedestal, Fort Myers Mayor Kevin Anderson said it has not yet been decided.

“The goal is to relocate the monument. right now, it’s being stored for safekeeping,” Anderson said. “Now, we are trying to identify what is the most appropriate location and place for the monument.”

Muwakkil said he was grateful to city leaders and the community for coming together to make this happen.

“I think we are looking at a better Fort Myers, better Lee County, and a better nation,” Anderson said.

No word yet on what, if anything, will replace the statue.