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Florida State students call for removal of confederate Francis Eppes monument

By Zachary Schultz

Tallahassee students protest confederate monuments.

Tallahassee, FL — On Sept. 6, about a dozen students gathered at the Florida State University (FSU) Integration Statue to call for the removal of the Francis Eppes monument.

Students held signs including “No confederate statues” and a banner stating “Take down Francis Eppes.” FSU student Cea Moline introduced herself as a member of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) and started the chant “Hey, hey, ho, ho, Francis Eppes has got to go!”

Moline went on to say, “This is a man who owned slaves on a plantation and started a slave-catching militia. This was a man who sold his land and gave his money to the confederacy. He went through letters to stop pro-emancipation work from coming into Tallahassee. This is a man who worked his whole life to support slavery and he is honored by this school. We must gather together to demand this statue be taken down.”

Dozens of students stopped to listen, forming a crowd around the protesters, as SDS members distributed leaflets with information on Francis Eppes.

“This statue is the visual, concrete representation of the white supremacy that our school was founded on, and continues to practice to this day. We think it's important that the school's vision of itself is inclusive for all students and community members, not just the privileged few,” said SDS member Maddie Hendrick.

The protest comes one day after FSU President John Thrasher announced the creation of a panel to review campus policy on names and recognitions, including campus statues. Thrasher said that this review was “essential” following the white supremacist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

SDS has been calling for Francis Eppes to be removed since 2016, when they launched a student body referendum on the statue. The referendum failed to pass, but SDS members say they are dedicated to removing the statue.

“We plan to be there at every stage of the review process, until the Francis Eppes statue is taken down,” said SDS member Katherine Draken.

#TallahasseeFL #PeoplesStruggles #AntiRacism #Antifascism #ConfederateMonuments