- The Washington Times - Friday, July 24, 2015

Protesters with a Memphis religious groups took a shovel to Confederate Lt. Gen. Nathan Bedford Forrest’s grave and statue in a public park on Wednesday, in an act that many locals are calling vandalism.

“If he’s gone, some of this racism and race-hate might be gone,” Isaac Richmond, of the Commission on Religion and Racism, told a local CBS affiliate. “We got a fresh shovel full, and we hope that everybody else will follow suit and dig him up.”

The City Council voted to move the statue and the remains from Health Sciences Park, but the move requires the Tennessee Historical Commission to sign off, and it will also have to go before the Chancery Court, CBS reported.

The group only took a “symbolic” shovel full of grass next to the deceased general’s grave on Wednesday, but made it clear that they would consider taking more drastic measures if the political process took too long.

“We are going to bring the back hoe, the tractors and the men with the equipment to raise Bedford Forrest from the soil of Memphis,” Mr. Richmond said.

On Thursday, Scott Hudson of Lincoln County drove several hours to plant new grass where the protesters had dug it up, CBS reported.

“When I saw this last night, my wife couldn’t understand why I was shaking so badly,” Mr. Hudson said. “I’m going to repair the blatant disregard for this cemetery.”

He said he cut a piece of sod from his own lawn and drove it to the cemetery to be patched up.

“It just upset me to my core, because my great-grandfather R.C. Hudson fought in the Confederate Army,” he said.

Mr. Richmond said Mr. Hudson wasted his time.

“It’s not necessary. I think they are trying to symbolize that we are a bunch of vandals,” he said.

Memphis Police has yet to say whether any laws were broken Wednesday, CBS reported.

“They can protest all they want,” said Lee Millar, the spokesperson for the Forrest family and Sons of Confederate Veterans. “Just because they don’t like it, doesn’t mean they are right. Digging up the park is just pure and simple vandalism.”

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