Petitioner seeks to keep Lee statue

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (NEWSPLEX) -- Shortly after a Charlottesville High School student started a petition to rename Lee Park and take down the Robert E. Lee statue, an Elkton woman started a petition of her own to keep the statue where it stands.

Teresa Lam came to Charlottesville on Saturday waving a pink sign that read "Save the Statue."

Her petition had a goal of 5,000 signatures and has almost reached its goal with 4,300 supporters.

Lam says, though she does not live in the city, she is a native and feels her voice and the voices of Lee-statue supporters haven't been heard.

She says removing the statue would have statewide repercussions, comparing the Charlottesville debate to the backlash New Orleans is facing while removing its confederate statues.

She says, though she is almost at 5,000 signatures, she also wants to see physical support, meaning not only people agreeing through social media, but in person.

Lam adds she'd like to have an open-discussion set-up with those against the statue, including the high school student who started the petition to remove the statue.

"I would like to talk to her. I would welcome an open conversation to discuss what Lee really did stand for," said Lam. "Yes there is some grey area, but there are going to be grey areas in all areas and you can't get away from that."

Those who oppose the statue say not only is it offensive to African-American's, it celebrates a losing side of a war, romanticizes racism and violence, and Lee isn't from Charlottesville.

The Charlottesville City Council will meet April 18 to discuss all options, taking public comment into consideration.

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