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City: Box around Confederate obelisk doesn't break law

The city of Birmingham maintains it did not violate state law when it put a box-like structure around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument.

Posted: Apr 17, 2018 11:06 AM

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — The city of Birmingham maintains it did not violate state law when it put a box-like structure around a 52-foot-tall Confederate monument.

In a Monday court filing, the city disputed the state's claims that it violated a law prohibiting the removal and alteration of monuments more than 40 years old.

City attorneys argued the plywood screen did not technically remove or alter the monument. They also argued Alabama is trying to stifle opposition to relics that "mourn the Confederacy's 'lost cause' to operate as a separate and independent nation that fosters the enslavement of African Americans."

The city's mayor erected the screen last year. The Alabama attorney general's office sued the city, saying the actions violate the Alabama Memorial Preservation Act.

A hearing was held in the lawsuit last week.

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