In the early morning hours on Wednesday, Baltimore removed four monuments related to the Confederacy from public view.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the order to remove the monuments came from a unanimous decision by the Baltimore City Council on Monday following the violence on Charlottesville. Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh, who promoted the decision to remove the monuments, allegedly watched the removal in person.
WBAL TV notes the four Confederate statutes that were removed were the monument dedicated to Robert E. Lee and “Stonewall" Jackson, the Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument, the Confederate Women’s Monument, and a statue of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Roger B. Taney. While Taney is not a Confederate figure, he is best known for delivering the Dredd Scott decision.
Footage of the removed monuments show they were defaced with writing such as “smash white supremacy” and “black lives matter”:
And there they go. Lee and Jackson sailing through air onto flatbed truck in Baltimore at 3:40 AM. An amazing sight. pic.twitter.com/4SzRYRiVOB— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) August 16, 2017
They rode in on the Lost Cause. They rode out on a flatbed truck. pic.twitter.com/CfRlluk5s0— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) August 16, 2017
Daughters of Confederacy monument on Mt Royal coming down pic.twitter.com/XZarWD4IKZ— Baynard Woods (@baynardwoods) August 16, 2017
The removal started around 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday and lasted until approximately 5:30 in the morning.
At 4:20 a.m., it was reported people were celebrating the removal of the statues:
Celebrating at 4:20 AM on the base of the removed Lee-Jackson monument, Baltimore. pic.twitter.com/e8BtHLYtpD— Alec MacGillis (@AlecMacGillis) August 16, 2017
Activists atop the Lee Jackson statue base. pic.twitter.com/IHbFtVQ81w— Baynard Woods (@baynardwoods) August 16, 2017
On Wednesday morning, Pugh remarked, “It’s done.”
“They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could,” she added.
Baltimore is reportedly still deciding what to do with the monuments, but the move on Monday was motivated in part to allegedly “avoid violent conflicts.”
The removal of the statutes in Baltimore comes after protesters in Durham, North Carolina forcibly removed a statue of a Confederate soldier. In April, New Orleans also removed its Confederate statues in the middle of the night, supposedly also to avoid violent confrontation.
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