Military personnel have considerable experience when it comes to fashioning previously unrelated items into bodily waste receptacles. Cut-up milk crates adorned with duct tape for added comfort, wooden ammo crates positioned over dug-out holes, piss pipes, straddle trenches, cat holes, etc. — the creativity in the quest for intestinal relief remains unmatched.

So, it might impress such lav-savvy service members to learn that one particular group, after stealing a Confederate monument in March from a cemetery in Alabama, is threatening to convert it into a Porta John unless the United Daughters of the Confederacy meet the group’s demands.

Valued at $500,000, the Jefferson Davis Memorial Chair was the subject of a heist by the activist organization White Lies Matter, which claimed in an email to local news outlets that they will return the monument only if the UDC agrees to hang a banner outside its Richmond, Virginia, headquarters with a quote by former Black Liberation Army member Assata Shakur: “The rulers of this country have always considered their property more important than our lives.”

Shakur — who has lived in Cuba under political asylum since the early 1980s — is still wanted by the FBI for the 1973 slaying of a New Jersey state trooper.

The banner, the chair’s captors wrote, must go up on April 9 — the anniversary of the Confederacy’s surrender — and remain hanging for 24 hours or the stone chair, which weighs several hundred pounds, will be converted into the Grand Central Station of Defecation.

A ransom note styled to look like a 19th-century flyer included mocked up images of what the chair would look like converted into a fecal throne. In its email, the group also included photographs of the chair in their possession, some of which featured a mocked-up hole ready to welcome any and all glutes in its vicinity.

The organization, described as an anti-racist group with no definitive leader, according to the Washington Post, indicated that they first learned of the chair’s existence through a book purchased at a memorabilia store. Presented in memory of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in 1893, the ornate stone chair was installed in a part of the cemetery known as Confederate Circle due to the site’s numerous graves and monuments dedicated to Civil War figures, according to The Art Newspaper. The surrounding area was purchased in 2011 by the UDC.

Despite some UDC members initial labeling of the demand as “fake news,” the Selma police and District Attorney Michael Jackson confirmed to Alabama.com that they were aware of the theft’s authenticity and ransom demand.

“We took their toy, and we don’t feel guilty about it,” White Lies Matter wrote. “They never play with it anyway. They just want it there to remind us what they’ve done, what they are still willing to do. But the south won’t rise again. Not as the Confederacy. Because that coalition left out a large portion of its population.

“All that’s left of that nightmare is an obscenely heavy chair that’s a throne for a ghost whose greatest accomplishment was treason.”

The only thing left to do now is to add some padding to the chair’s alleged opening and airlift it to its proper resting place — the field.

Observation Post is the Military Times one-stop shop for all things off-duty. Stories may reflect author observations.

Claire Barrett is a digital media editor at HistoryNet and a World War II researcher with an unparalleled affinity for Sir Winston Churchill and Michigan football.

J.D. Simkins is a writer and editor for Military Times, and a USMC veteran.

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