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'Stop erasing Macon's history': Macon man makes final plea to stop move of Cotton Avenue Confederate statue

The move will begin at 2 p.m. on Wednesday and could take two days.

MACON, Ga. — A Macon man stayed the night at the Confederate statue on Cotton Avenue in protest of it being moved on Wednesday.

Andrew Tripp said he arrived at the monument at around 10 p.m. Tuesday.

He had a Confederate flag draped over the steps of the monument donning a "Make America Great Again" hat as he sat there to speak with reporters about why he was upset about the monument moving. 

"Stop erasing Macon's history," He said. "Start focusing on crime, not history that is not harming anyone." 

Once the cranes and crews arrived, Tripp headed home at around 7 a.m. Wednesday, ending his nearly 10-hour protest.

"I am going to go home and cry because this is crazy," Andrew said. "More people should stand up to the city and tell them how they feel."

The Macon-Bibb Commission approved plans in July 2020 to move the Cotton Avenue statue and one on Poplar Street.

Private groups and donors raised $160,000 through the Community Foundation of Central Georgia to relocate the two monuments, the one on Cotton Avenue and another located on Poplar Street.

Due to lawsuits, the relocation has been held up for nearly two years. Despite one last attempt from Tripp in opposition to the move, the statue will be relocated beginning at around 2 p.m. on Wednesday.

The monument will begin its move to its new permanent home in Whittle Park outside Rose Hill Cemetery where hundreds of confederates are buried. It will likely take two days for the move to be completed.

Both the Sons of Confederate Veterans and the United Daughters of the Confederacy say they compromised with the county.

"Our biggest concern is that the monuments are put in a respectful place, a protected place, a visible place that people can still enjoy the monuments," Sons of Confederate Veterans Treasurer Johnny Nickles said Tuesday. 

Once the move is complete, crews will shift their focus to the other statue known as the "Women of the South."

After the statues are moved, they plan to place a roundabout at Poplar Street and turn the area on Cotton Avenue into a plaza with open green space.

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