Crowd cheers Saturday as workers in Charlottesville remove a Confederate statue near the site of the violent white nationalistthree years ago. The removal of a bronze figure of a Confederate soldier known as the “Standby” is seen in Charlottesville as a cornerstone in the removal of the dividing symbols of the Civil War.
The Washington Post reported that the process of removing the statue began on Saturday morning when workers attached straps to the 900-pound statue to prepare to remove it from its base.
A crowd of about 100 people greeted behind the metal barricades as the figure was lifted from the pedestal and lowered to the ground. The statue has been outside the Albermarle County Courthouse for 1
All members of the crowd wore masks in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. Some wore blue hats during the Union Civil War and danced to music broadcast by a local radio station.
The merry scene was in stark contrast to the violence during the Unite The Right rally on August 12, 2017. A woman was killed and dozens injured when a self-understood white supreme authority rammed her car into a crowd of people protesting against white nationalist rallies.
“It’s a great moment,” said local community organizer Don Gathers. “Much of the racial tension, strife and protests we see across the country are being broadcast right here in Charlottesville. But now I’m moving the needle in a positive way.”
Albemarle County supervisors voted earlier this summer to remove the charter, which is located in the city of Charlottesville. The statue was not the focal point of the rally in 2017, but it is one block from the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, which white supreme and neo-Nazi groups said they were defending in the clash.
Charlottesville City Council voted to remove both Lee and a nearby monument to fellow General Thomas J. Stonewall Jackson, but a small group of Confederate supporters filed a lawsuit to save them. The case is being referred to the Supreme Court of Virginia and may take months to be resolved.