Confederate Statue Debate Is Reignited by George Floyd Protests

As protests against racism and police violence spread across the nation, demonstrators in at least six cities focused their anger on symbols of the Confederacy, seizing the opportunity to mar statues and monuments that have ignited debate for years.

Many of the monuments were vandalized with spray paint; protesters tried to topple others from their bases. In response, at least two cities this week have seen them removed from public spaces.

In Richmond, Va., this weekend, graffiti was scrawled on the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy, and the building also burned for a time. Statues of the Confederate generals J.E.B. Stuart, Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee, all of which stand on the city’s Monument Avenue, were marked.

[Virginia governor plans to order Confederate Robert E. Lee statue to be removed.]

In Norfolk, Va., on Saturday, protesters climbed a 15-foot figure of a Confederate soldier and spray-painted its base. In Charleston, S.C., “BLM,” for Black Lives Matter, and “Traitors” were spray-painted in red on the base of the Confederate Defenders of Charleston statue, erected in 1932. In North Carolina, a Confederate monument at the State Capitol in Raleigh was marked with a black X.

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