Confederate statue removed in North Carolina city | News

A North Carolina city removed a Confederate statue on Tuesday from the grounds of an old courthouse, a rare move in a state where such monuments are largely protected by law.

Construction crews in Winston-Salem spent more than an hour attaching a harness and a cage-like metal frame to protect the statue, then hoisted it from atop its pedestal with a large crane.

The approximately 30-foot-high (nine metres) monument includes a granite statue atop a base and column and was dedicated in 1905. It depicts an anonymous soldier in a Confederate uniform resting his rifle stock against the ground.

A small group of onlookers clapped and cheered as the statue was taken down and placed on a flatbed truck.

Winston-Salem Mayor Allen Joines told The Associated Press that the statue will eventually be moved to the landmark Salem Cemetery. Before that, it will be put into temporary storage while a site at the cemetery is prepared.

“We realise that there are very strong feelings on both sides of this issue, so what we’ve tried to do is devise a solution that recognises both sides,” he said, describing its eventual home in the cemetery as “a very dignified and appropriate location for the statue”.

North Carolina has been at the forefront of the debate over Confederate monuments. It is one of three southern states with the most Confederate statues, according to the Alabama-based Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) watchdog group. 

Although a 2015 North Carolina law all but prohibits the permanent removal of Confederate statues from public land, Winston-Salem had more leeway than most North Carolina cities because the old courthouse property had passed into private hands.

Some statues had been relocated by North Carolina cities in the years before the 2015 law went into effect, but since then, local governments have been all but blocked from doing so under the law that allows relocation only in very narrow circumstances.

Two North Carolina Confederate statues have been torn down by protesters.

Promoting white supremacy

Confederate statues have been subject of debate in recent years.

Critics argue many Confederate statues were built decades after the Civil War to promote white supremacy. Supporters counter that the monuments are simply memorials to ancestors who fought and died protecting their homes.

Protests against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E Lee in Charlottesville turned deadly on August 12, 2017, when white supremacist James Alex Fields Jr rammed his car into a group of counterprotesters, killing 32-year-old Heather Heyer. 

Two years earlier, in June 2015, white nationalist Dylann Roof shot and killed nine African American worshippers in Charleston, South Carolina. After the shooting, photos emerged of Roof posing with a Confederate flag. 

Both incidents reinvigorated the national debate about Confederate monuments and symbols. 

The Winston-Salem statue has been vandalised twice since late 2017 and critics and supporters gathered for a tense rally around the statue in January.

According to the SPLC, at least 110 Confederate memorials have been removed since Roof went on his shooting rampage in 2015. 

As of June 2018, the watchdog noted, 1,728 Confederate memorials remain intact. 


Source

more recommended stories

  • Algerians rally for fourth consecutive week against ailing leader | News

    Tens of thousands of Algerians have.

  • What can we expect from Thailand’s March 24 vote? | Asia

    The people of northeast Thailand have.

  • US to see unprecedented spring flooding in coming weeks | News

    The stage is set for unprecedented.

  • Thailand votes: Young voters prepare for Sunday’s election | Thailand News

    Almost 52 million eligible voters in.

  • Pressure mounts as May heads to final EU summit before Brexit | Brexit

    London, United Kingdom – On Thursday, the.

  • Karadzic sentence increased to life for Bosnia genocide: UN | Former Yugoslavia News

    United Nations judges have ordered former.

  • Radovan Karadzic faces final verdict in war crimes case | Former Yugoslavia News

    United Nations appeals judges on Wednesday.

  • ‘Major humanitarian emergency’ after cyclone batters SE Africa | Mozambique News

    Cyclone winds and floods that swept.

  • India-Pakistan cricket row over army caps and politics in sport | Sport

    The controversy around the Indian cricket.

  • Alleged NZ mosque gunman ‘rational’, lawyer says after he’s fired | New Zealand News

    The Australian man accused of shooting.

  • Philippines officially out of the International Criminal Court | News

    The Philippines has officially withdrawn from the.

  • More than 100 detained in Nicaragua’s anti-government protests | Daniel Ortega News

    Managua, Nicaragua – Police have detained.

  • New Zealand mosque attacks: Who were the victims? | News

    They were teachers, engineers and accountants..

  • Australian senator egged after racist comments on New Zealand | New Zealand News

    A far-right Australian senator had to.

  • New Zealand terrorist attack suspect grins in court | News

    The Australian suspect arrested after dozens.

  • New Zealand mosque attacks: What we know so far | New Zealand News

    Two mosques in the city of.

  • Australia Aboriginals win right to sue for colonial land loss | News

    Sydney, Australia – The High Court.

  • ‘Arms are for hugs’: US students march to end gun violence | News

    Washington, DC – Hundreds of students have.

  • Colombia: March in favour of FARC peace accord | Colombia News

    Colombians have rallied in defence of.

  • Brexit vote: UK parliament rejects ‘no-deal’ option | UK News

    London, England – With just over.

  • Hamid Karzai: Taliban and the Afghan government should talk | Afghanistan News

    US officials and Taliban representatives have.

  • US Senate to vote on Saudi-Yemen war resolution | USA News

    The US Senate will vote on.

  • Confederate statue removed in North Carolina city | News

    A North Carolina city removed a.

  • Mahathir says government considering future of Malaysia Airlines | Malaysia News

    The Malaysian government is considering whether.

  • DRC’s Bemba seeks $77m in compensation from ICC | DR Congo News

    Jean-Pierre Bemba, a former vice president and.

  • India-Pakistan railway: Samjhauta Express train service restored | Pakistan News

    The Samjhauta Express also called the.

  • Serb Chetnik gathering in Bosnia’s Visegrad raises alarm | News

    A gathering of supporters of the.

  • Investigators at Ethiopian Airlines crash site look for answers | Ethiopia

    An Ethiopian Airlines passenger jet traveling.

  • Rival rallies held in Caracas as Venezuela crisis intensifies | News

    Thousands of people have once again.

  • Is enough being done to stop misinformation online? | Social media

    “Fake news” is a common cry.

  • Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: ‘Patriarchy is bad for everybody’ | United Nations

    While the world is electing more.

  • Guatemalan women protest against decades of state violence | News

    Guatemala City – Marcia Mendez carried a.