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Oklahoma City Community College Removes Land Run Monument

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The monument for the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 outside Oklahoma City Community College was removed last week.

Oklahoma City Community College last week removed a monument dedicated to the state's land run history. The school's interim president said the monument has no place on campus.

Leaders at OCCC had been talking about getting rid of the land run monument ever since they publicly supported the Black Lives Matter movement last summer.

Members of the college's executive team said they were getting emails and messages on social media asking them to stand up for Indigenous rights while also supporting protests against the killing of George Floyd. That's when they decided it was the right thing to do.

A spokesman for the school said they've been getting both postive and angry messages about the monument's removal. Some have said that taking down the monument is erasing history, while others say that erecting the monument was attempting to erase the real history of Indigenous land theft.

"It was a no-brainer," said Danita Rose, whose maternal grandfather was of Cherokee descent. "If our goal is to create a community that is inclusive and welcoming to everyone, a monument that depicts cruelty and oppression can’t be on display here."

The stone slab that commemorates the Oklahoma Land Run of 1889 has been on the campus for more than 30 years and predates many of the current OCCC employees. It was removed last week and put into storage. It was the subject of numerous complaints to the school's student-run newspaper and on social media.

Indigenous activists in Oklahoma City were also trying to get rid of a land run monument in Bricktown. Those life size bronze sculptures are still in place.

Officials with OCCC say they're still figuring out what will replace the monument.

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