CM – The statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville has finally been dismantled

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Zyahna Bryant, who started the petition to remove Lee’s statue in 2016, witnessed it being removed. « This is a moment I’ll never forget, » she told BuzzFeed News.

Through

Ikran Dahir

Posted on July 10, 2021 at 2:07 pm ET

On Saturday morning, the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee of Charlottesville, Virginia, was removed four years after a violent white-racist protest in the city led to the murder of a peaceful counter-demonstrator.

Officials removed it Statue at 8 a.m. and a few hours later the statue of General Thomas « Stonewall » Jackson was also taken down.

The latest campaign to demolish the statues began in 2016 when the then 16-year-old Zyahna Bryant petitioned to rename and removal of Lee’s statue.

City council voted to remove the statues in 2017 and sparked a violent white racist rally in August that rocked the country.

A counter-demonstrator, Heather Heyer, was at the Rally killed after a man drove his car into a crowd. The man, James Alex Fields Jr., was found guilty of murder in 2019.

The statue of General Thomas Stonewall Jackson is being removed from a park to be stored in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Despite the Vote in the city council in 2017, a district court ruled two years later that the statues could not be removed because they were protected by state law. In April 2021, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned that decision.

Speaking to BuzzFeed News after the statues were removed on Saturday, Bryant, a University of Virginia student, said it would be a long time.

« I watched the council vote over a month ago and waited on the edge of my seat since that night, » she said.

« It didn’t take you long to get Lee and his horse off the podium, » said Bryant . « I remember everyone saying ‘look’ and ‘turn around’ when it was finally lifted from its pedestal. » Bryant said her grandmother ran across the street to see the statues removed . « This is a moment I will never forget, » she said. « You and my mother taught me what courage is. »

« Without her I have no courage and I wouldn’t be who I am today. I am grateful to have lived this moment with you, » added she added. “It’s a feeling of triumph.”

A friend was sitting on his front porch in Charlottesville this morning and witnessed a recent retreat.

Bryant said she found the reactions to the statues being removed were mixed . Some who initially didn’t support the move joined in after the violent protest by white racists in 2017.

« What I found out is that public history work has so much power because it gives people the background knowledge that they need to form an educated opinion, « she said. « I’ve found that the more people know, the more open they are to change. »

Charlottesville Mayors Nikuyah Walker (left) and Zyahna Bryant (right) before workers see a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia.

She said she would like people to remember the legacy of the Black women who led this movement to eradicate the Confederate statues.

« I also hope that young people see this and feel empowered to stand up and make positive change in their own communities, » said Bryant.

A BuzzFeed News research conducted in conjunction with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn’t want to see.

Keywords:

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