RICHMOND, Va. – A small group of demonstrators overthrew a Confederate general statue in the former capital of the Confederacy late Saturday after a largely peaceful day of protest in the city of Virginia.
A Richmond police spokesman, Monroe Williams, said the statue of Wickham was pulled from the pedestal in Monroe Park. He said he did not know if there was any arrest or damage to the statue.
A string was tied around the Confederation statue, which had been standing since 1891, Richmond Times-Dispatch reportedHe added that the statue went into urine after being pulled down. Newspaper photos and videos showed what splashed red paint or sprayed on the statue.
In 2017, some of Wickham’s descendants called for the city to unravel the statue.
Confederate monuments are an important flash point in Virginia and elsewhere in the South. Confederate monuments began to go down after killing nine black people in a Bible study in a church in South Carolina in 2015, and after the deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in 2017.
Last week, Ralph Northam, former Confederate Gen. A state-owned sculpture of Robert E. Lee removed from perch “as soon as possible” on the famous Monument Avenue.
The Lee statue is one of five Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, a prestigious residential street and National Historic Landmark district. Monuments along the street have been scoring points during Floyd’s death during recent protests, and have been tagged with graffiti, including the messages of “Last police brutality” and “Stop white supremacy.”
Last week, Richmond Mayor Levar Stoney announced that he plans to remove other Confederate monuments along Monument Avenue, which includes the sculptures of Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Confederate Gens. Stonewall Jackson and J.E.B. Stuart. These sculptures sit on the city territory, unlike the Lee statue in the state property.
Stoney said he would bring an order of July 1 to lift the statues. This year, a new law enacted by Northam, which withdraws an existing state law that protects Confederate monuments and allows local governments to decide their fate instead.
Wickham’s statue stood at Monroe Park, a mile away from the Lee statue and surrounded by the campus of Virginia Commonwealth University.
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