On Saturday morning, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee was removed from Charlottesville, Virginia, four years after opposing rallies clashed in Charlottesville, which resulted in the death of Heather Heyer.
City officials announced their plans to remove the statue on Friday. The vote to remove the statue was a unanimous 5-0. Officials removed the statue at 8 a.m., and several hours later also took down Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson’s statue. 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. The recent campaign to take down the statues began in 2016, when then-16-year-old Zyahna Bryant created a petition to rename and remove Lee’s statue.
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“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. The statues were given to Charlottesville in 1919. The Jackson statue has been up since 1921, and the Lee statue was first placed in 1924.