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New committee seeks to remove confederate statue from downtown Lafayette

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A new effort is under way to remove the General Mouton statue from downtown Lafayette.
    
For leaders of the Move the Mindset committee, getting into motion starts with moving a monument.
"We are taxpayers, and the property ultimately is owned by taxpayers," said Fred Prejean, chairman of Move the Mindset. "The property where the statue is located now. So, there is a significant number of taxpayers who would like to see the statue moved to a more appropriate place."
Since 1922, the statue of Alfred Mouton has been at the corner of Jefferson Street and Lee Avenue, but this group thinks the values Mouton stood for on aren't enough to hold his statue up.
"I believe in people honoring their ancestors, but if you do something wrong there's no reason why you should honor the wrong that was done," said Prejean. "And for the statue to represent continuing the institution of slavery, that's certainly was the wrong thing to do."
Getting the structure taken down won't as simple as just grabbing a bulldozer, it'll take a city council vote and legal action to move the Mouton statue from its longtime home.
"One: if the city decides it wants to build a road where the statue is located, the statue can be moved. Two: if the city wants to sell the property where the statue is, the statue can be moved. The injunction says no other circumstances will cause the statue to be moved," said Prejean.
And Prejean said the movement is about more than just one statue.
     
"It's an effort to build positive relationships with people of different race, ethnicity, nationality, sex, you name it," said Prejean. "Our intentions are admirable and our intentions are moral."

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