Confederate statue removed in Charlottesville, Virginia
Heavy machinery hoisted the statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee from its stone pedestal in Charlottesville, Virginia, around 8 a.m. Saturday morning, AP reports.
The big picture: The removal comes four years after the 2017 "Unite the Right" white supremacist rally, when hundreds of alt-right supporters gathered carrying torches and signs that read "white lives matter." The rally then started because protestors opposed the city's decision to get rid of the monument.
- The rally left 32-year-old protester Heather Heyer dead.
- City officials announced plans to remove the statue on Friday.
Details: Another Confederate statue, one of of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, is also set to be taken down, AP notes.
- Of note: The stone pedestals will be taken down and taken to a secure location until the Charlottesville City Council decides what should be done with them.
What they're saying: "Taking down this statue is one small step closer to the goal of helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and America, grapple with the sin of being willing to destroy Black people for economic gain," Charlottesville Mayor Nikuyah Walker said in a speech when the removal process started, per AP.
- "This is well overdue," Zyahna Bryant, a student who in 2016 started the push to remove confederate statues from the city.
- "No platform for racism. No platform for hate," Bryant added.