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confederate statues removal


Crowds cheered as a crane removed a statue of a Confederate soldier in Charlottesville, Virginia, the scene of a far-right rally three years ago.

The bronze figure, known as “At Ready”, was removed on September 12.

There has been an increased focus on monuments connected to slavery in the wake of mass anti-racism protests in the US and abroad this year.

A number of statues have been removed as a result.

Memorials to the Confederacy, a group of southern states that fought in favor of slavery against the Union in the American Civil War of 1861-1865, have been among those targeted.

However, there has been opposition to the removal of such symbols, with President Donald Trump saying earlier this year that he would “not even consider” renaming military bases after Confederate generals.

The statue was taken down from its plinth in front of the Albemarle County courthouse, where it had stood since 1909.

Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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People gathered nearby danced to music as the monument, along with a cannon, were removed.

Albemarle County voted to dismantle the statue in August, the first decision to be made under a new law for removing Civil War monuments in Virginia introduced earlier this year.

In 2017, Charlottesville became the site of the largest white nationalist rally in decades, following a plan to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee.

Avowed neo-Nazi James Alex Fields Jr. was later sentenced to life in prison after driving his car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.

In June, Virginia’s Governor Ralph Northam announced that another statue of General Lee would be removed, this time in the state capital of Richmond.

The decision came amid mass protests across the US following the death of George Floyd in police custody.

However, a judge has since granted a temporary injunction to stop the statue’s removal.


Statues of Christopher Columbus and Confederate leaders have been torn down in several states, as pressure grows on authorities to remove monuments connected to slavery and colonialism.

In Richmond, Virginia, statue of Confederate President Jefferson Davis was toppled on June 10.

Statues of Italian explorer Christopher Columbus in Boston, Miami and Virginia have been vandalized.

The movement has been sparked by the death in police custody of African American George Floyd.

George Floy’s death in Minneapolis has led to protests in the US and internationally against police brutality and racial inequality.

Memorials to the Confederacy, a group of southern states that fought to keep black people as slaves in the American Civil War of 1861-1865, have been among those targeted.

A number of Confederate statues on Monument Avenue in Richmond have been marked with graffiti during the protests.

Richmond also saw a statue of Columbus pulled down, set alight and thrown into a lake earlier this week.

A 10ft tall bronze statue of Columbus was toppled in Saint Paul, Minnesota, on June 10.

The Columbus statue in Boston, which stands on a plinth at the heart of town, was beheaded.

Many people in the US celebrate the memory of Columbus, who in school textbooks is credited with discovering “the New World”, the Americas, in the 15th Century.

However, Native American activists have long objected to honoring Columbus, saying that his expeditions to the Americas led to the colonization and genocide of their ancestors.

The death of George Floyd, whose neck was kneeled on by a police officer for nearly nine minutes, has spurred global protests led by the Black Lives Matter movement.

Many cities and organizations have taken steps to remove Confederate symbols, which have long stirred controversy because of their association with racism. 

Image source Wikimedia

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Last week, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam announced that a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee would be removed from Richmond.

However, a judge has since granted a temporary injunction stopping the removal.

Stock-car racing organizers Nascar announced on June 10 it was banning Confederate flags, frequently seen at races.

President Trump meanwhile rejected calls to rename military bases named after Confederate generals, saying they remain part of America’s heritage.

The president tweeted: “The United States of America trained and deployed our HEROES on these Hallowed Grounds, and won two World Wars. Therefore, my Administration will not even consider the renaming of these Magnificent and Fabled Military Installations.”

On June, President Trump renewed threats to take federal action against local protesters occupying public spaces.

In a pointed exchange on Twitter, the president demanded that the mayor of Seattle “take back your city” from protesters, whom he called anarchists and domestic terrorists.


President Donald Trump has denounced the removal of “beautiful” Confederate statues amid a heated national debate about US race relations.

He tweeted: “Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments.”

“You can’t change history, but you can learn from it,” the president continued.

President Trump drew outrage by defending organizers of a white supremacist rally that left one person dead and dozens hurt.

The rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, supported by neo-Nazis and white supremacists, was in protest of the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee, a general who had fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy during the Civil War.

The protest turned deadly when a driver ploughed into a crowd of counter protesters, inflicting fatal injuries on Heather Heyer.

Image source Wikipedia

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In a series of tweets on August 17, President Trump said: “Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

“The beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

The recent removal of controversial statues, including some to leaders of the pro-slavery rebellion defeated in the US Civil War, has been the latest flashpoint in racial tensions across the country.

Critics say monuments to the Confederacy are racially offensive, but supporters say they are important symbols preserving Southern heritage.

On August 17, Maine’s Governor Paul LePage, a Republican, said that taking down Confederate statues is “just like” removing a monument to the victims of the 9/11 attacks.

However, relatives of Stonewall Jackson, a Confederate leader President Trump mentioned in his tweets, wrote an open letter to the mayor of Richmond, Virginia, urging him to remove the statue of their great-great-grandfather and all other Confederate statues in town.

Jack and Warren Christian, Stonewall Jackson’s great-great-sons, said removing the statues would “further difficult conversations about racial justice”.

“While we are not ashamed of our great-great-grandfather, we are ashamed to benefit from white supremacy while our black family and friends suffer,” the pair wrote.

“We are ashamed of the monument.”

Robert E. Lee V, the great-great-grandson of the famous Confederate general, also issued a statement condemning the violence in the wake of the statue removals.

Donald Trump’s comments came after a week of turmoil over his response to the violent clashes in Charlottesville.

The president was criticized for blaming both sides for the violence, but belatedly condemned the white supremacist and neo-Nazi groups on August 14.

During a heated news conference on August 15, President Trump backtracked and again blamed left-wing counter-protesters for the incident, too.

Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, the only black Republican in the upper chamber, said in an interview with Vice News that President Trump’s “moral authority” had been “compromised”.

“I’m not going to defend the indefensible… [Donald Trump’s] comments on Monday were strong. His comments on Tuesday started erasing the comments that were strong,” Senator Scott said.

“What we want to see from our president is clarity and moral authority. And that moral authority is compromised.”

Amid the fallout over President Trump’s response, corporate leaders and CEOs began resigning from two White House business councils.

On August 16, the Strategy and Policy Forum announced it would disband as Presidnet Trump said he would end the council as well as a manufacturing one.