Montgomery, AL (Nov. 27, 2013) — Selma civil rights activist Faya Rose Toure was arrested Monday night during a meeting of the Selma City Council, whose president refused to allow her and other residents to speak against a planned memorial honoring the first Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan.
The Friends of Forrest sued the city to get one acre of land in the publicly-owned Live Oak Cemetery deeded to them. The white supremacist group plans to erect a large statue to Confederate Army Lt. Nathan Bedford Forrest. During the Civil War, Forrest was also infamously accused of allowing the slaughter of Black soldiers, most former slaves, who had surrendered to his troops.
In a telephone conversation after her arrest, Toure said, “The Council voted to deed the property to this white supremacist group without restrictions. As such, they can build monuments to any racist murderer of Black people.”
Though her bail was set at $1,000, she refused to pay and remains in jail in protest to the council’s action to move forward with the planned statue.
Toure, the wife of Alabama State Sen. Hank Sanders, is the co-founder and chair of the Direct Action Committee of Saving OurSelves (S.O.S.), a Movement of 40 organizations for Justice and Democracy.
“If they put one of us in jail, they have put all of us in jail,” said S.O.S. Co-Chair Johnny Ford, Mayor of Tuskegee.
An online petition against the statue — which was launched last year and had garnered more than 300,000 signatures — has been re-launched on social media websites. National news outlets across the internet and around the world have taken notice of Toure’s arrest, renewing interest in the online campaign.