EDWARDSVILLE - A Black Lives Matter rally with Our Edwardsville, a grassroots collective of local citizens dedicated to the City of Edwardsville and removing the Ninian Edwards Statue from its current location will gather from 11:30 to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, October 31, 2020, in Ninian Edwards Plaza, West Vandalia Street and St. Louis Street in Edwardsville.

Our Edwardsville co-leader Asher Denkyirah said it is past time to stop honoring Ninian Edwards legacy, sharing that "Ninian Edwards, someone who directly furthered slavery and the murder and removal of indigenous people, does not deserve the honor of being monumentalized in the heart of our downtown.”

The rally will include chants and song, guest speakers from One Collective Voice, The DREAM Collective, and FOURward, information and a call to action, and will close with a commemoration remembering and honoring the humans Edwards personally enslaved, the humans enslaved because Edwards vetoed legislation to abolish slavery in Illinois, and the people of the Potawatomi tribe that Edwards killed and forced from their land.

Our Edwardsville co-leader Emily Klingensmith called for relocating the statue because “This statue rewrites and distorts our community’s history by putting Ninian Edwards on a pedestal. The statue needs to be moved from its current place of honor to an appropriate educational setting where a more honest and full history can be shared.”

Our Edwardsville will provide ASL interpretation at the rally.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, attendees should only come to the rally if they are asymptomatic, and should wear masks and physically distance while at the rally. For those who would like to attend virtually, the rally will also be livestreamed using Facebook Live at http://HalloweenRally.OurEdwardsville.com/.

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