Hollywood Forever Cemetery To Remove Monument To Confederate Soldiers
Update: The monument has been removed.
A week before white supremacists gathered in Charlottesville to violently protest the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, the L.A. Times ran an op-ed pointing out a Confederate momument tucked away inside one of L.A.'s best-loved tourist attractions: Hollywood Forever Cemetery. After petitioning from local activists, Hollywood Forever announced plans Tuesday evening to remove the monument.
"We are removing the monument at the request of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, Long Beach branch [who maintain the monument]," Hollywood Forever president and co-owner Tyler Cassity told LAist on Tuesday.
In the wake of the Charlottesville rally, a Change.org petition calling on Cassity to remove the monument garnered over a thousand signatures in a matter of days. "It is far past time to keep traces of white supremacists where they belong - in history books," the petition said.
The petition's fight to topple the Confederate legacy in California was echoed by Josh Androsky, co-chair of the Democratic Socialists of America Los Angeles agitprop committee, who took to Twitter to broadcast his request that Hollywood Forever remove the statue.
hi! did you know that @hwdforever cemetery has a 7ft tall monument to confederate soldiers? i found out so i called a few days ago.— josh androsky🌹 (@ShutUpAndrosky) August 15, 2017
i called back today, angrier. i was directed to a manager who tried to dance around the subject, saying it was illegal to desecrate graves.— josh androsky🌹 (@ShutUpAndrosky) August 15, 2017
so why don't you call our friends at @hwdforever. tell them how you feel.— josh androsky🌹 (@ShutUpAndrosky) August 15, 2017
let's give em a month or take it down ourselves.
Cassity told LAist that Hollywood Forever contacted the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) to inform them that they'd received "constant calls" urging the monument's removal, and that the monument had been repeatedly vandalized, at which point the UDC opted to remove it. Individual grave markers of the 30-odd Confederate soldiers who are buried at Hollywood Forever Cemetery will remain, but the seven-foot plaque commemorating their loyalty to the Civil War-era South will not.
Cassity described the UDC's request to remove the Confederate monument as "a relief," noting that the removal was influenced by the unrest in Charlottesville. "We don't want to be a place of contention or debate," said Cassity.