Proposal in Alabama to up protection for Confederate statues

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A Civil War monument dedicated to both Union and Confederate soldiers stands outside the Winston County Courthouse in Double Springs, Ala., Monday, April 5, 2021. The county, which attempted to secede from slaveholding Alabama during the war, is trailing the state in COVID-19 vaccinations. Many are hesitant to get shots in the nearly all-white county, and officials say vaccine supply also is a problem. (AP Photo/Jay Reeves)

MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) — A proposal to fine cities $10,000 a day for taking down Confederate and other longstanding monuments drew heated debate in a Alabama legislative committee.

The House Government Committee on Wednesday held a public hearing on the bill by Rep. Mike Holmes that would dramatically increase fines for violating the Memorial Preservation Act.

Current law levies a flat $25,000 fine, which some cities have paid as a cost of removing controversial monuments to other locations.

Holmes claims that the Civil War was not about slavery, a notion that is contrary to the widely accepted view that it was the root cause of the conflict.

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