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Spectators watch as workers remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Market Street Park July 10, 2021 in Charlottesville, Virginia. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

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.
In photos:
A tweet previously embedded here has been deleted or was tweeted from an account that has been suspended or deleted.
A statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee is seen behind work-zone signage in Market Street Park July 9. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
Workers remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Market Street Park July 10. Photo: Win McNamee / Getty Images
A flatbed truck carries a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the Market Street Park July 10. Photo Win McNamee/Getty Images
A flatbed truck carries a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee from the Market Street Park July 10. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Go deeper

In photos: Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations highlight climate change, Indigenous lands

Demonstrators dance as they march in honor of Indigenous Peoples’ Day at Freedom Plaza on Oct. 11. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

Although some Americans got the day off Monday for Columbus Day, many communities around the country took the opportunity to commemorate Indigenous Peoples Day and honor the contributions of Native Americans.

Why it matters: Last week President Biden became the first president to issue an official proclamation commemorating Indigenous Peoples Day.

Chicago's Columbus statues still down

Crews remove the Columbus statue in Grant Park in July, 2020. Photo: Armando L. Sanchez/Chicago Tribune via Getty Images

It's been 15 months since Mayor Lori Lightfoot ordered crews to take down the Columbus statues in Chicago after protesters tried to tear them down themselves.

Why it matters: The statues became the focal point of protest and vandalism over Columbus' genocidal past as the entire country had a reckoning over historically racist statues and symbols.

  • Now, the Italian American community is demanding they are put back up.
Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Congressman criminally charged with lying to feds

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry. Photo: Al Drago/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) has been indicted on charges he falsified records and lied to federal investigators probing an illegal foreign donation scheme, the Justice Department announced on Tuesday.

Driving the news: DOJ says a Fortenberry associate, who later cooperated with investigators, informed him he'd likely received illegal donations from an intermediary for a foreign national, but that Fortenberry denied any knowledge of such a scheme when contacted by the FBI.

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