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Davis Protesters Speak Out Against Gandhi Statue

DAVIS (CBS13) — Protesters are speaking out about plans to install a statue honoring Mahatma Gandhi in Davis Central Park.

City leaders approved the statue months ago, but they are now reconsidering the decision.

Volunteers have worked for the past year raising money to install a six-foot tall bronze statue honoring Gandhi in a grassy section of Central Park.

"Not a penny of taxpayer money is going to be used for this project," said Sham Goyal.

The leader of the Indian independence movement who was assassinated in 1948 is best known for his peaceful protest movement.

"Davis is a natural place because davis believes in peace and nonviolence," Goyal said.

The statue was unanimously approved in February, but two months later, Vice Mayor Brett Lee says a group reached out with concerns. He says there should have been more opportunity for debate.

"They seem to have really heartfelt sincere concerns about the placing of the Gandhi statue," he said.

Opponents accused Gandhi of having a dishonorable history of racism and abuse that is not well known and they say he is not an appropriate role model.

"When all the truth is known, it cannot be ignored," said Bhajan Singh.

The statue is in storage until a final decision is made. Supporters hope it can be installed before his birthday on Oct. 2.

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