Protesters rally against Gen. Mouton statue ahead of Festival International

Posted at 9:44 PM, Apr 22, 2018
and last updated 2018-04-22 22:44:24-04

In Lafayette, protestors are hoping for change rallying against the General Mouton confederate-era statue in Downtown Lafayette.

The chairman of Move the Mindset, an organization which aims to unite the city/ parish of Lafayette, Fredrick Prejean said with just days before Festival International, he has a question for the people of Lafayette.

"Is this the image we want to portray for the world? Is a Jim Crow statue, does that really represent Lafayette? And I hope the answer is no," he said.

People of all races, religions, genders and ages gathered at Lee Avenue and Jefferson Street to move the mindset.

"It’s time that we put this dark page in our nation’s history behind us," said one of the speakers.

More than 50 people gathered around the statue with signs denouncing it.

"There are people that think the statues should stay here and it is that mindset that we want to move and actually change. We should not have statues or monuments that represent just one portion of the population. Statues and monuments should bring people together not divide and tear people apart," said Prejean.

Demonstrators believe the General Mouton statue, which has been standing tall in downtown since 1922, signifies a time that oppressed people of color

"And just because they’ve been here historically for so long doesn’t make it right. And so movements like this are so important because it gives a voice to people that have for generations been speaking out and saying we don’t like how were being treated in the place we call home," said one person at the rally, Conner Quibideaux.

"We’re not trying to erase history, we’re not trying to say that it didn’t happen, we’re not trying to get rid of anyone’s heritage. What we’re trying to say is that the statue doesn’t mean the same thing for everyone else. And we should be putting it in a place where those different histories can be brought out and discussed instead of just placing something on a pillar and saying that it’s important ," said Kassandra Ford, who was holding a "No Jim Crow" sign.