The "genocide cannon" in Decatur, a city in the state of Georgia, will be removed after the county unanimously voted on Tuesday in the favour of its removal from the square where it resided for more than a century.
The cannon in Decatur, just outside Atlanta, has ties to the Indian War of 1836 and has become increasingly controversial, drawing criticism from local activists who say it represents the brutal suffering of thousands of Muscogee people who were removed from their native lands, the Associated Press reported.
"Public art should unite and heal us instead of sowing division," Phillip Cuffey, a leader with the local activist group Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, was quoted by AP as saying. He had urged the DeKalb County Commission to remove the cannon during a public comment period, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Approximately 3,500 Native Americans died during the bloody conflict and the ensuing Trail of Tears, the US government's forced displacement of Indian tribes from the Southeast.
The cannon will be moved into storage within 90 days but the history of its ownership remains in question. In 1906, it was placed near DeKalb's historic courthouse by a chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. However, there's no paperwork showing it was donated to the county, the city of Decatur, or made public property, according to the Journal-Constitution.
It's also unclear whether the cannon actually dates back to the war — it's own inscription labels it as a relic.
The Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights held multiple protests over the past year, including on Monday, October 11, which is both Columbus Day and Indigenous Peoples Day.
"I appreciate all the commissioners for their support in getting to this moment where we can, just one day after Indigenous Peoples Day, move forward with this," said Commissioner Ted Terry, who co-sponsored the resolution to remove the cannon, according to the Associated Press.