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Save Southern Heritage has until Monday to prove standing in Confederate monument case

in The Bay and the 'Burg/Top Headlines by

Save Southern Heritage Florida, Veterans Monuments of America and five other individuals who filed a lawsuit last week challenging the planned removal of a Confederate monument in Hillsborough County have until this Monday to prove they have legal standing to bring any action against the county.

Circuit Court Judge Rex Martin Barbas informed the plaintiffs last Wednesday that they have until Monday to: 1) show why they have standing to bring any action; 2) answer how they intend to show irreparable harm; and 3) provide copies of the relevant portions of any ordinances that they intend to show that the Board of County Commissioners violated their own rules and ordinances in permitting the removal of the 106-year-old statue, named Memoria en Aeterna, to a cemetery in Brandon.

Save Southern Heritage Florida issued a statement on Saturday afternoon painting the judge’s request of a victory of sorts, calling the request for more documentation “a major legal victory.”

“Everywhere I go, church, lodge, meetings, people are thanking us for standing up” said David McCallister, a spokesman for the group“People are outraged and incensed that the County Commission wouldn’t stand up to this marauding band of terrorists – or at least let the people decide.”

“We’re asking all those who see it as disrespectful to use the War Memorial as a political football, to call the Commissioners and tell them ‘enough is enough’ it must stay,” McCallister added.

When the board voted on August 16 that the monument would only move to Brandon if the public could raise $140,000 within 30 days, Chairman Stacy White said that would be the last word on the subject, which has roiled the County Commission and the community all summer.

That $140,000 from the public sector came in within 24 hours, all but guaranteeing that the monument will be moved.

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Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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