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

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

“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

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

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