Come to Richmond, Va. – A small group of demonstrators toppled the statue of a Confederate general in the former capital of the Confederacy on Saturday afternoon following largely peaceful protests in Virginia.
A Richmond police spokesman said the statue of General Williams Carter Wickham had been pulled from its pedestal in Monroe Park. He said he did not know whether the statue had been arrested or damaged.
A rope was built around the Confederate statue, standing since 1891, The Richmond Times-Dispatch reportsSomeone urinated after the statue was pulled down. Newspaper photos and videos showed what appeared to be red paint or spray paint on the statue.
In 2017, some of Wickham’s descendants urged the city to remove the statue.
Confederate monuments are an important luminous place in Virginia and elsewhere in the South. Confederate monuments began to emerge in 2015 after a white supremacist killed nine black people in a Bible study at a church in South Carolina, and then in 2017 after a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Last week, former Confederate Gen. Robert E. Schmidt. Gov. Ralph Nordham announced that there would be a statue of Lee’s state Removed from its perch “Coming Soon.”
The statue of Lee is one of five Confederate monuments on Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street and national historic landmark district. Memorials on the Avenue have been accumulating during recent protests over Floyd’s death, and are marked with graffiti, including messages that say “End the police brutality” and “Stop white supremacy.”
Richmond Mayor Lever Stoney announced plans to dismantle other Confederate monuments on Monument Avenue last week, including Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Jens statues. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.P. Stewart. The statues sit on city land, unlike the Lee statue on state land.
Stoney said he would introduce a decree on July 1 to remove the statues. When a new law comes into force, Northam signed earlier this year that would pass the current state law protecting federal monuments, instead allowing local governments to determine their fate.
The statue of Wickham stands in Monroe Park, about a mile from Lee’s statue, surrounded by the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.