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Billboard urging removal of Confederate statute comes down

January 6, 2021 GMT

ALLENDALE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — A billboard urging the removal of a statue of a Confederate soldier in western Michigan was taken down within hours after complaints.

A group of Allendale Township residents that paid for the billboard said Outfront Media removed it at the request of the property owner, Jeanine Gasper told MLive.com.

The billboard, which said “Remove the racist Confederate statue,” went up Monday in Ottawa County but was removed within 24 hours.

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“My biggest reaction is how ironic it is that there was this much controversy about a billboard and that billboard was taken down super quick and the statue has been there 20-plus years,” said Gasper, a member of Allendale for Equality. “The irony is not lost on me.”

The township has a statue of a Union soldier and a Confederate soldier with an enslaved child at their feet.

An email seeking comment from Outfront Media wasn’t immediately returned Wednesday.

Township trustees voted in June to keep the statue at a veterans parks but formed a committee to recommend possible changes. No action has been taken.

Grand Valley State University, which is nearby, urged the township in June to move the statue “to a space that would allow for proper historical context and dialogue.”