Both sides respond after Manatee Co. commissioners pass motion to move Confederate monument

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) – Mary Delaney showed up at the Confederate monument with mini American flags and signs in hand.

She planned to show her support for keeping the nearly century-old monument right where it stands. But, she was caught off guard when she learned the centerpiece of the courthouse grounds was going away.

“I am upset, because this is our history.  People died, you know, to have our freedoms that we have today,” Delaney said.

Controversy over the structure has brewed for days. It came to a head with a heated protest on Monday, then through more debate Tuesday.

Commissioners ultimately voted to say goodbye.

“Motion passes 4 to 3,” a commissioner said during a meeting Tuesday.

For Gregory Cruz, a member of Black Lives Matter who organized the protest on Monday, goodbye is the right word.

“It’s a small victory,” he said.  “A victory, nonetheless. I don’t want people to be fooled or lose sight of the bigger picture.”

County leaders are eyeing other spots in the Bradenton area where the statue could stand proudly.  It will cost around $12,000 to move it.  Veteran’s Memorial Park and Gamble Mansion are two options.

For Mary Delaney, it’s fine right where it is.

“This is all history. Why would you want to take that down?” she asked.

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