Under the cover of darkness in the middle of the night, Baltimore officials directed the removal of four Confederate statues from its city on Wednesday, just days after violent protests erupted in Charlottesville, Va., over the planned removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.
After a year of indecision, the Baltimore City Council voted Monday to immediately remove four Confederate statues from public parks around the city, The Baltimore Sun reported. Early Wednesday, police accompanied the crews that removed the statues from their bases, loaded them onto flatbed trucks and hauled them away.
Among the statues removed was a Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall” Jackson monument from Wyman Park Dell, which was dedicated in 1948.
Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh said crews worked to remove the statues from 11:30 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. An audience of onlookers, with cell phones held high, and news crews watched the workers remove the monuments.
“It’s done,” Pugh announced on Wednesday morning, adding, “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.”
Trump asked what statue is it going to be next week? Baltimore responded, saying, "All of ours. Tonight." https://t.co/AJEeM6vOkl
— Jordyn Holman (@JordynJournals) August 16, 2017
Across the country, cities like New Orleans and Louisville have been removing or relocating monuments, but the events in Charlottesville are causing some city councils to hasten their plans.
Based on the events in Virginia, the mayor of Lexington, Kentucky, announced on Saturday that he is expediting his city’s plans to remove Confederate statues from public locations in the city.
In June, workers dismantled a Confederate memorial in St. Louis, Missouri. The monument’s removal began the same day an agreement was reached between the city and several groups that sued to have the monument stay in place, according to reports.
“We wanted it down,” St. Louis Mayor Lyda Krewson told reporters at the time, noting that the memorial symbolized slavery.
However, New Orleans wrote the book on removing Confederate monuments in the middle of the night when it initiated the sneaky move back in April.
At 1:25 a.m., workers wearing flak jackets and helmets were protected by police snipers as they unceremoniously took down the monument, which New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu described as the “most offensive” of four Civil War-era monuments the city plans to rid.
“If there was ever a statue that needed to be taken down, it’s that one,” he said, claiming that it was originally erected to “revere white supremacy.”
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