Virginia protesters tear down a statue of Jefferson Davis a day after bringing down Christopher Columbus
A crowd of protesters in Richmond, Virginia, brought down the statue of Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, CNN affiliate WRIC reported.
Pictures from the affiliate showed the statue on the ground Wednesday night. Richmond police responded to the scene, the affiliate reported. CNN has reached out to police for more details.
Davis was the president of the Confederate states during the Civil War. It was the second statue to come down in Richmond in two days.
On Tuesday, CNN affiliate WTVR reported about 1,000 people gathered in Byrd Park during what was initially a peaceful demonstration.
But protesters vandalized a statue of Christopher Columbus, tore it down using ropes and threw it in the park.
Ahead of the rally, the Richmond Indigenous Society tweeted “we are gathering at Byrd Park to protest yet another racist monument. Christopher Columbus was a murderer of Indigenous people, mainstreaming the genocidal culture against Indigenous people that we still see today. Bring your sage, drum, jingle dress, and mask!”
The statues are two of many more that are coming down in cities across the US amid widespread protests decrying racism and oppression. Many say the statues — often of Confederate leaders — are considered racist symbols of America’s legacy of slavery.
Statues of Columbus were also removed this week at the Minnesota State Capitol and in Boston.
In Birmingham, Alabama, a statue of Confederate sailor Charles Linn was toppled by demonstrators and is scheduled to be removed by city officials.
Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said that a memorial dedicated to Confederate soldiers who died at a Union prison camp in the city will be removed from a local park.
Slave auction block also removed
Meanwhile in Fredericksburg, Virginia, an auction block marking the spot where African Americans were displayed and sold as slaves was removed last week.
The 800-pound block was removed after two years of deliberations among City Council members and months of legal action that threatened to keep the stone in place.
The state’s governor has also announced plans to remove another statue honoring Confederate General Robert E. Lee from Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue.
Councilman Chuck Frye Jr., the only African American on City Council, first proposed removing the block in 2017 — after the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, just an hour and a half drive away.
Frye grew up in Fredericksburg, and said, recalling his childhood memories, “I think racist folks loved it, historians understood it, and black people were intimidated.”
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