Crowds Cheer As 131-Year-Old Robert E. Lee Statue Is Removed
Crowds gathered in Richmond, Virginia, to cheer the removal of a 131-year-old statue of Robert E. Lee.
The 12-ton statue of the Confederate general was removed by workers today, September 8, 2021.
Lee was a central figure of the Civil War, having served as the commander of the Confederate States Army. The removal of the statue is another step in efforts to remove statues of slaveholders and Confederate figures.
The removal of Lee’s statue was announced by Virginia Governor Ralph Northam on June 4, 2020. It had been one of the largest, still-standing Confederate statues in the country.
The decision to remove the statue was challenged, but the state’s Supreme Court decided in favour of it being taken down.
Governor Northam said the statue’s removal is ‘an important step in showing who we are and what we value as a commonwealth’.
Levar Stoney, Mayor for Richmond, said:
Richmond is no longer the capital of the Confederacy. We are a diverse, open and welcoming city, and our symbols need to reflect this reality.
The towering bronze figure was first erected in 1890 and its removal follows a summer of protests in 2020 around racial injustice, which sparked a series of statue removals all over the US.
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