So far there are five members of the San Antonio city council who are in favor of relocating the Confederate monument that has been located in Travis park for 118 years. And now, there’s officially another member throwing their support behind the idea to relocate the Confederate memorial.
On Tuesday, District 3 Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran told KENS 5 that she would like to see the monument relocated somewhere else, like a museum. That would mean the proposal has enough support to pass. That’s not to say even more support will be added in the coming days.
“We cannot be continuing to put something out there that is, hiding really, an ideology of hatred behind heritage. That’s why I believe it should be moved,” Councilwoman Viagran explained.
Viagran said that she’s been thinking about the possible relocation of the monument ever since her colleagues Roberto Trevino and Cruz Shaw introduced the proposal about a month ago.
“We’re not trying to erase history. We’re trying to put it in the correct environment and context,” she said.
The councilwoman added that her decision was solidified over the last couple of weeks with racial tensions increasing across the country. She even said that she was influenced by recent threats made against members of city council because of the controversial issue.
Staff from both the offices of councilman Shaw and Trevino told KENS 5 that they’ve received threatening language and have notified San Antonio police.
When asked if she was concerned about her safety for coming out in favor of relocating the statue, Viagran said, “Oh sure. Absolutely. When you have people walking, chanting certain things, and coming to official meetings with assault rifles and guns, yes you will be concerned about that.”
The armed people Viagran was talking about are the militia members seen last week outside council chambers. The group said that it was there as security for people opposed to the relocation of the monument, who claimed they had their lives threatened.
Councilwoman Viagran believes that it’s more of an intimidation factor.
“When you have people, armed guards, standing in front of the door that you’re supposed to go walk into, to go make your opinion heard, one way or another, I think that is an intimidation tactic. And not one we need in front of our city council chambers,” she said.
And now with growing support in favor of relocation, the next big question could be where the Confederate monument ends up.
When asked how people can get involved in the relocation process, Viagran said, “That’s a conversation we’ll have to have on the dais when we do have that conversation, or whenever the vote is going to happen. I think that’s a very fair question and I think it would be a good conversation to have.”
Staff members from the offices of councilmembers Greg Brockhouse, Manny Pelaez, Shirley Gonzales, and Clayton Perry all told KENS 5 that they have not yet made a decision on whether they support moving the monument and are still receiving input and dialogue from constituents.
In a statement issued last week, Mayor Nirenberg said:
I will work with my colleagues to ensure that symbols of the Confederacy are placed in proper context.