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The Story Behind The Lee Statue In Richmond

Since the May 25 murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, the Robert E. Lee monument in Richmond, Virginia, erected in 1890, has been a focus of protests, graffiti, and public pressure calling for the removal of this offensive symbol of Confederate aspiration. At twenty feet high, atop a forty-foot base, the bronze Confederate general sits on his horse as if surveying an active battlefield, looming over the former capital of the Confederacy. The monument’s future is murky. On June 4, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, issued an order to remove the statue, but days later a judge in Richmond issued an injunction blocking its removal. 

How To Effectively And Safely Topple A Statue Using Science

From Bristol, England to Birmingham, Alabama, people all over the world have been grappling with the legacy of racism by tossing their grappling hooks around the heads of problematic monuments. Should you happen to find yourself near a statue that you decide you no longer like, we asked scientists for the best, safest ways to bring it to the ground without anyone getting hurt—except, of course, for the inanimate racist who’s been dead for a century anyway. The force required to pull down a statue isn’t as great as you think, says mechanical engineer Scott Holland. Most statues are bronze, using an alloy of 90 percent copper and 10 percent tin and a maximum thickness of 3/16 of an inch. Holland says your average statue of a person tops out at around 3,500 pounds.

Confederate Monuments In Richmond Coming Down

Richmond, VA, June 3 -- The Virginia Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality, an all-volunteer, grassroots organization that since 2007, on the 200th anniversary of the birth of the slavery-defending Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, has been calling for taking down all the city’s white-supremacist memorials, is elated to learn today that some of the statues’ days are now officially numbered. Their demise is long, long overdue. Local and national media are reporting that Virginia’s Gov. Ralph Northam will announce tomorrow that he will order the 14-foot-tall statue of Lee to be removed from its 46-foot-tall pedestal on Richmond’s famed Monument Avenue and put into storage until there can be public input about its ultimate fate.

UNC Student Who Poured Blood And Ink On Silent Sam Confederate Statue Found Guilty

HILLSBOROUGH - UNC-Chapel Hill graduate student Maya Little has said all along that she smeared her blood and ink on the Silent Sam Confederate statue on April 30. So the question Little’s attorney posed during a daylong trial Monday wasn’t whether she defaced the controversial monument, but whether her actions were justified by serving a greater good. Ultimately, Orange County District Court Judge Samantha Cabe found Little guilty of a misdemeanor charge, but the judge did not hand down a sentence or punishment.

Read The Moving Letter The Descendant Of A Racist Confederate Leader Wrote In Support Of Anti-Racist Activists

Meg Yarnell, the great-great-great-granddaughter of Julian Carr, is calling for academic and criminal charges to be dropped against Maya Little and other anti-racist activists who have been arrested for protests related to the Confederate monument known as Silent Sam. In an open letter to University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill administrators, including Chancellor Carol Folt, Yarnell notes that she is “grateful for what Maya did to contextualize this statue and advance the cause for its removal.” In the weeks and months following the toppling of Silent Sam on August 20, Carr’s speech at the statue’s 1913 dedication ceremony has been widely recirculated.

How The Confederate Statue Came Down In Chapel Hill

Silent Sam has been a flashpoint for anti-racist struggle for at least fifty years. It was donated to the university and erected in 1913 during the Jim Crow era by the United Daughters of the Confederacy. Capitalist, racist, and KKK-supporter Julian Carr, for whom the neighboring town of Carrboro is named, boasted during a speech at the statue’s dedication that he had, just yards away from the monument and under the gaze of Confederate soldiers, “horse-whipped a negro wench, until her skirts hung in shreds” because she had insulted a white woman. Protesters threw paint on the statue when Martin Luther King, Jr. was murdered in 1968; demonstrators gathered around it to remember two black men, James Cates, who was murdered on UNC’s campus by a white motorcycle gang, and William Murphy, who was murdered by a NC highway patrolman, in 1971.

Environmental Group Protests Systemic Racism

Leesburg, VA (Aug. 12, 2018) - Loudoun residents and members of 350 Loudoun covered the Confederate statue on the courthouse lawn in Leesburg with a tarp this morning. The peaceful action was meant to protest the monument and call for its removal. It comes on the one year anniversary of white supremacist violence in Charlottesville that centered around a statue honoring Confederate general Robert E Lee. “The statue must be removed because it represents a shameful era in our history.  Failing to remove it perpetuates the past,” said Natalie Pien, one of the protesters and a member of 350 Loudoun. 
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