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Confederate Symbols Torn Down in US South | Voice of America


A Confederate soldiers’ monument that stood in Birmingham, Alabama, for more than 100 years is no more.

Construction workers Tuesday dismantled the last piece of the five-story structure after Mayor Randall Woodfin ordered it gone.

The mayor acted Sunday after a group of demonstrators protesting the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis threatened to tear down the monument themselves. They had already vandalized it and destroyed a statue of Confederate Navy Captain Charles Linn, one of Birmingham’s founders.

“Allow me to finish the job for you. I wanted you to hear it directly from me. But I need you to stand down,” Woodfin told the crowd before declaring a state of emergency and curfew in Birmingham.

Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall has sued the city, accusing it of violating a state law ordering protecting Confederate memorials that are at least 40 years old.

The Washington Post reported that a statue honoring Confederate troops in Alexandria, Virginia — a Washington suburb — was taken also taken down Tuesday.

Demonstrators in Nashville took matters in their own hands and tore down the statue of Edward Carmack, a former state lawmaker and newspaper publisher who espoused racist views, who was gunned down in the streets of Nashville in 1908, according to the Tennessean newspaper.

FILE – Protesters toppled the statue of Edward Carmack outside the state Capitol after a peaceful demonstration turned violent, in Nashville, Tenn., May 31, 2020.

And outside Tampa, Florida, a Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter voluntarily lowered a huge Confederate battle flag that flew within sight of two major highways for years.

City and state officials across the southern U.S. have been removing Civil War Confederate-era memorials over the past several years.

African Americans and others call the structures monuments to slavery, institutionalized racism, and terror.

Alabama statue of Linn

Sarah Collins Rudolph’s sister Addie Mae Collins was one of four black girls killed in a 1963 church bombing in Birmingham by Ku Klux Klansmen — one of the most shocking acts of violence during the civil rights era.

“I’m glad it’s been removed because it has been so long, and we know that it’s a hate monument,” said Rudolph, referring to the Linn monument. “It didn’t represent the blacks. It just represented the hard times back there a long time ago.”

Rudolph continued, “The things that we were fighting for in the ’60s aren’t solved yet. We shouldn’t be treated the way they treat us.”

A large group of southern states broke away from the United States in the 19th century in part to preserve the institution of slavery. Other areas of disagreement with the northern states included states’ rights and westward expansion. The resulting Civil War from 1861 until 1865 resulted in the official end of slavery in the U.S. when Congress passed the 13th Amendment three months before the Confederate surrender. 
 

Source Link: Confederate Symbols Torn Down in US South | Voice of America

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