Save Southern Heritage, an organization that has been a vocal advocate for keeping the Confederate monument in Munn Park, has filed a federal lawsuit seeking to keep the city of Lakeland from moving the 108-year-old memorial to Veterans Park.

“The City gave us no other option,” David McCallister, attorney for the organization, said via a news release sent by Save Southern Heritage.

McAllister, a Tampa-area resident who practices law in Pasco County, has spoken at most of the public meetings when the Lakeland commission discussed the monument.

The suit was prompted by Monday’s 5-2 vote by the Lakeland City Commission to move the monument by Jan. 31, paying for the move with a combination of private donations and proceeds from red-light camera fines.

The monument would be endangered if it is moved, McAllister claimed in the news release. “Most of the people that spoke (at Monday’s meeting) really want the Cenotaph destroyed, and we don’t expect it to last long in Veterans Park, if we lose our appeal to the Court” he said.

In addition to Save Southern Heritage, plaintiffs include several individuals, one of them a Lakeland taxpayer, and the organizations Southern War Cry, Veterans Monuments of America Inc. and Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Defendants include several city commissioners, the city manager, the head of the firm that gave the city an estimate for moving the monument and Florida’s secretary of state.

LkldNow has reached out to the city attorney and city communications director for reaction to the lawsuit.

In a blog post, Winter Haven lawyer Kemp Brinson examines the seven counts in the lawsuit and concludes, “I think this complaint is going nowhere fast, and will easily be disposed of by the lawyers for the city, state, and contractor.”

The lawsuit

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View previous LkldNow coverage of the monument issue.


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Barry Friedman founded in 2015 as the culmination of a career in print and digital journalism. Since 1982, he has used the tools of reporting, editing and content curation to help people in Lakeland understand their community better.

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  1. HOORAY. The NAACP and BLM are hate groups that want to protect their heritage while they wipe away the heritage of others.

    1. Can we sue them for being a Southern Heritage defense entity that supports confederacy from the United States? Who pines away for slavery, and calls themselves decent? Immune to irony…

  2. It stood for over 100 Years with no problems
    Now all of a sudden outside paid protest has caused unessary conflict among the community
    The commission agreed to move it if private donations were collected but that didn’t happen and after they publically stated they would not use tax payers money now they are delegating tax payers money to move
    It should be put on the special ballot and let the people of lakeland not a group of outsider paid protesters to dictate the removal of history.
    The trust and character of the commission has reached bottom with this all time low. This is beyond disgusting.
    Follow the money

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