Statues removed by decree and by force
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 6/24/20, 09:46 pm
The Charleston, S.C., City Council voted Tuesday to remove a statue of former Vice President John C. Calhoun, a defender of slavery, but it proved easier said than done. After laboring for more than 16 hours and employing a diamond cutter, contractors finally dislodged the statue Wednesday afternoon and lowered it from its 100-foot pedestal.
What other statues are coming down? Where officials have not taken action to remove Confederate monuments and statues of historical figures who had slaves, protesters and rioters have taken matters into their own hands. Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Wednesday activated the National Guard to protect state properties after 200-300 protesters vandalized government buildings and attacked a state senator in Madison on Tuesday night. Protesters pulled down, decapitated, and dumped into a lake a statue of Civil War Col. Hans Christian Heg—an anti-slavery activist and Union soldier—as well as other statues around the city. In Washington, unarmed members of the District of Columbia National Guard will protect monuments from a similar fate. Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy authorized the move on Tuesday at the request of the U.S. Park Police, a defense official said.
Dig deeper: Read Lynn Vincent’s analysis of the logic behind riots.
Editor’s note: WORLD has updated this report since its original posting.
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