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Birmingham Mayor Removes Confederate Monument After Protests

Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument depicts a bronze Confederate private standing on top of the pillar
Confederate Soldiers & Sailors Monument (Dreamstime)

By    |   Tuesday, 02 June 2020 05:19 PM

A five-story-high monument to Confederate troops in Birmingham, Alabama, has come down after Mayor Randall Woodfin Sunday promised protesters his government would finish the job of tearing it down. 

The obelisk, known as the Confederate Sailors and Soldiers monument, had stood for more than a century and was vandalized on Sunday during protests connected with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, reports NPR.

A smaller statute in the park, put up in memory of former Confederate officer Charles Linn, had already been pulled down when Woodfin stood in front of the taller monument and pleaded with protesters to let the city's workers bring it down, promising to have the work done by noon Tuesday. 

"I wanted you to hear it directly from me, but I need you to stand down," Woodfin told protesters.

Woodfin Monday implemented a citywide curfew following a rough day Sunday, when police arrested at least two dozen. 

The large monument had come under controversy before. William Bell, Woodfin's predecessor, ordered it be hidden by plywood screens in 2017, after the deadly violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

However, Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall filed a lawsuit citing state law that prohibits relocation or alteration of Confederate symbols that have been in place for more than 40 years. At that time, the state Supreme Court sided with monument supporters, fining Birmingham $25,000 and bringing the plywood down. Marshall said Monday he will file another lawsuit if the monument is removed.

Protesters in several other southern cities have also been vandalizing and protesting Confederate monuments. Tuesday, a memorial was brought down in Alexandria, Virginia, a month earlier than the United Daughters of the Confederacy had scheduled, reports The Washington Post.

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After Mayor Randall Roodfin promised protesters Sunday his government would finish the job of tearing it down, a five-story-high monument to Confederate troops in Birmingham, Alabama, has come down.
birmingham, monument, confederate, history, vandalism, resistance
Tuesday, 02 June 2020 05:19 PM
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