March, prayer vigil set for Confederate statue's removal from Hamilton County Courthouse

March, prayer vigil set for Confederate statue's removal from Hamilton County Courthouse

September 26th, 2017 by Rosana Hughes in Breaking News

A bust of Confederate Lt. Gen. Alexander P. "Old A.P." Stewart is seen outside of the Hamilton County Courthouse on Wednesday, Aug. 16, in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Photo by C.B. Schmelter /Times Free Press.

A definitive date has been set for the Chattanooga chapter of the NAACP's march to remove the bust of Confederate Confederate Gen. Alexander P. Stewart from the Hamilton County Courthouse lawn.

The march will take place on Oct. 1 from 5-7 p.m., beginning at Miller Plaza and ending on the courthouse lawn. There, a prayer vigil will take place with speakers addressing reasons for the statue's removal.

Northbound lanes of Market Street will be closed between Martin Luther King Boulevard and East 6th Street, as well as Walnut Street between East 6th Street and East 7th Street, from 5-8 p.m.

Mercy Junction Justice and Peace Center is hosting a sign-making party Thursday evening at 6 p.m., according to a news release. Supplies and snacks will be provided.

The march's purpose has expanded to address several causes in addition to the Confederate statue removal. NAACP Chattanooga President Elenora Woods said last week they will be calling for education reform, better housing and legislation to protect DACA recipients.

The announcement of the march and the launching of a petition to remove the bust comes after the NAACP said it would begin efforts to remove a Confederate statue from the front of the Hamilton County Courthouse.

The announcement was followed by a significant amount of pushback from community members voicing their opinions to the Times Free Press via phone calls, emails and comments on social media.