Community activists protest delay in building box around statue at Caddo Courthouse

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SHREVEPORT, La. (KTAL/KMSS) – Protesters demonstrated in front of the confederate monument outside the Caddo Courthouse Saturday afternoon in response to Caddo Parish commissioner’s delay in building a temporary box around the monument.

Will James, one of the community activists leading the protest said despite the setback, he’s not losing focus on the issue.

“I think too many times they’re used to people losing power. Losing wind. Losing speed and not staying on course,” James said. “I feel that they’re taking the people’s voices for granted and they’re not listening to them. We’re going to protest until some change takes place.”

Caddo Commission votes to build box around Confederate monument outside courthouse

Tuesday, Commissioners voted 11-1 to build a temporary box around the monument until Caddo District Judge Craig Marcotte rules on a lawsuit brought by the United Daughters of the Confederacy that asks for an injunction against moving the statue. James said he is tentative about their decision then and reiterated those feelings after the commissioner’s update Thursday afternoon.

According to a parish spokesperson, a structural engineer said further design was needed before they could start building the box. Construction is anticipated to begin early next week.

“I’ll believe it when I see it. They verified Thursday evening. Not the commissioners, but the Parish administrator,” James said. “Now, I say I’ll be out here on the public sidewalk voicing my concern.”

James added that progress was made with the 11 to 1 vote by commissioners compared to 7-5 vote from two-and-a-half years ago. Still, he said he would like to see the lives of those alive and breathing be valued more than marble stone.

“We’ll start addressing the systems that are in place that actually allow a symbol like this to be in place for X amount of years, 114 years to be exact. I protest a symbol, because if we can protest a symbol, than we can fight for justice throughout the system.”

James said until he sees some sort of change toward the monument, he will be outside protesting every weekend.

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