The confederate soldier statue at the Albemarle County Court House along with the canons were removed on Saturday. Photo by John McDonnell/The Washington Post via Getty Images
The "At Ready" Confederate statute in Charlottesville, Virginia, was removed early on Saturday, 111 years after it was erected.
Why it matters: Charlottesville was the site of the deadly, far-right "Unite the Right" rally in August 2017, where a neo-Nazi rammed his car into a crowd of anti-racist protesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer.
- At the time, white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on Charlottesville to protest the city's decision to remove a statue of Robert E Lee, which sits about a block from the "At Ready" statue.
- A judge blocked the removal of the Lee statue, as well as one of Stonewall Jackson, earlier this year, but the state's Supreme Court plans to take up the case.
- The removal of Confederate symbols has been a key issue in the ongoing protests against racism in the U.S.
Background: The "At Ready" statue was dedicated outside the Albemarle County Court House in 1909.
- The monument depicted a Confederate soldier holding a rifle, along with two cannons and several cannonballs on either side.
- Albermarle County was one of the first communities to go through the legal process to eliminate a war statue since the state passed a law earlier this year that authorizes localities to remove, relocate or cover war monuments and memorials.
- The statue's removal Saturday was live-streamed on Facebook.
What they're saying: “It is with pride that the Albemarle County Board of Supervisors takes action to remove the 'At Ready' statue," said Ned Gallaway, chair of the Albemarle County board of supervisors.
- "We know that taking this action is not some end point. We have a lot of work to do and that work is in our policy work, in affordable housing, in our schools — we know we have a long way to go. I’m looking forward to getting to that work," Gallaway said in a statement.
By the numbers:
- A total of 115 Confederate symbols have been removed from public spaces since Dylann Roof, a white supremacist, shot dead nine Black worshippers at a Charleston, South Carolina, church, per the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC).
- At least 30 of those have been removed since the police killing of George Floyd this May. Many removed symbols are now located on private land.
- According to the SPLC, nearly 1,800 Confederate symbols remain on public land, including 739 monuments.