It took until the early hours of the morning, but Kalamazoo's city commissioners have decided to remove a controversial statue.
It's called "Fountain of the Pioneers" and it shows a European settler with a weapon towering over a Native American. The city manager argued that it should be removed, and that a new plan should be developed for Bronson Park, where the monument is right now.
After hours of public comment, all but one city commissioner agreed early Tuesday, March 6. The one commissioner, Jack Urban, said the city isn't unanimous on this issue.
"I'm holding everyone who votes yes on this, and the rest of the community accountable for making sure that if we're going to move that statue away, that it's for a reason, and that it's a reason people will understand, and a reason that people will remember," Urban said.
Shannon Sykes was one of five commissioners who voted to do away with the statue and come up with a new plan for Bronson Park. She argued that the suffering of the people who would see their art work be taken away didn't equal the suffering of those it offends.
"I'm deeply saddened by the lack of empathy we've witnessed here tonight," Sykes said.
"Our trauama and pain is not a matter of opinion."
The meeting began at 7 p.m. Monday, March 5 and ended just before 1:30 the next morning.
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