The statue of a Confederate general who sparked a violent right-wing racist protest in Charlottesville, Virginia almost four years ago was removed from its pedestal on Saturday (9).
According to city mayor Nikuyah Walker, the raising of the statue of General Robert E. Lee is “a small step towards the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia and the United States face the sin of wanting to destroy. blacks for economic purposes ”.
A monument to General Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson is also set to be demolished on Saturday after the council this week unanimously voted a $ 1 million grant to remove, cover or arm statues linked to the slave movement.
Only the statues will be removed, not their stone plinths. The monuments will be stored until the City Council decides what to do with them.
The monuments of the Confederacy of Slaves – the southern states that revolted against the federal government during the Civil War – have been controversial for years.
Hundreds of statues alluding to this period are scattered across the country. Some see them as symbols of American history and plead for their preservation, but for others, they are an ode to slavery.
Initial plans to remove the statue of Lee led to a white nationalist protest in August 2017 to defend its retention.
There was a simultaneous anti-racism protest and one of the participants, Heather Heyer, was murdered by a protester who drove a car into the crowd. He was sentenced to life imprisonment.
The white supremacist rally in Charlottesville brought together hundreds of neo-Nazis, nationalists and members of the Ku Klux Klan. Three dead and dozens were injured in clashes between protesters and counter-protesters.
Charlottesville continued to push for the removal of the statue of Lee after the protests, but was prevented from implementing the plan through legal action and changes to the law until April of this year. , Virginia’s highest court rules the statue could be removed.