Mayor Kasim Reed has said he is considering petitions calling for the renaming of Atlanta streets with names that have links to the Confederacy.
“Over the past two days, Atlanta residents have started petitions and called for city streets bearing the name of the Confederacy or Confederate leaders to be renamed,” Reed said in a press release. “I will carefully consider these petitions, because symbols matter, and as those espousing hate-filled ideologies grow bolder, we must grow stronger in defense of our values.”
Reed made the announcement in a press release about the city ordering flags to fly at half staff to honor the three people who died and the many others who were injured during a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday.
“Freedom of speech and freedom of assembly are fundamental rights of American citizens,” Reed said. “These rights must be valued and protected. But I want to make my beliefs and those of the City of Atlanta clear: We will not condone vile displays of racism and we will not tolerate violence as a means to promote bigotry and hatred. The despicable act of violence perpetrated by James Alex Fields Jr. this weekend can only be seen as an act of domestic terrorism, and has no place in a country built upon our shared values.
“We all have a responsibility to stand up and denounce these reprehensible acts. As the cradle of the Civil Rights movement, we stand shoulder to shoulder with those who exercised their right to speech in support of equality and in opposition to hatred. This weekend, hundreds of people marched peacefully in our city to demonstrate these values. I continue to urge those participating in protests to promote non-violent expression by self-policing and elevating the voices of community members. Atlanta’s history demonstrates that we can come together and protest in a non-violent and peaceful fashion.”
Reed did not name any streets specifically, but there are several with possible streets with Confederate links according to the Atlanta Streets Names Project.
– Holtzclaw Street
– Estoria Street
– Calhoun Street
A listing of street names in Atlanta published on Geographic.org also points to some other candidates, including several streets named “Stonewall” and the fairly obvious Confederate Avenue.