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Historic COFO building demolished due to structural problems

MERIDIAN — A building in Meridian that once served as a gathering point for those working to register blacks to vote and planning of civil rights activities in East Mississippi in the 1960s has been torn down.

The Meridian Historic Preservation Commission and property owners authorized the demolition because of severe structural problems. It was demolished over the weekend.

It is now called the Fielder and Brooks Building. In the ’60s it was called the COFO Building, for the Council of Federated Organizations. COFO was a coalition of national and regional groups active during the civil rights era.

Michael Schwerner, Andrew Goodman and James Chaney worked with COFO before they were killed in Neshoba County in 1964.

Meridian Mayor Percy Bland says the city will memorialize the site in some way.

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