Following the violent protests in Charlottesville over the weekend, which left one person dead and at least 19 injured, several lawmakers are beginning to mobilize the efforts to remove Confederate statues from their cities as well, several news outlets reported Monday.
Baltimore and Lexington, Kentucky, are the latest cities to announce their decision to remove Confederate statues, in direct response to this weekend’s violence. Officials across the country plan to announced similar measures in the coming days.
The violent rally and protest that took place in Charlottesville were in response to plans for the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, just blocks from the University of Virginia campus.
As reported by Vox:
“Across the United States, the Southern Poverty Law Center estimates that at least 709 Confederate statues and monuments remain, including some above the Mason-Dixon Line. In 2015, there was a push to remove Confederate flags across the country following the massacre in Charleston, South Carolina, where a white supremacist murdered nine African Americans at a church. Now, after Saturday’s violent protest in Charlottesville, two more cities have decided to start the long and controversial process of removing statues linked to the Confederacy.”
On Saturday, Lexington Mayor Jim Gray announced he is planning to remove the statues of Confederate Gen. John Hunt Morgan and Confederate Secretary of War John C. Breckinridge, specifically because of the unrest that took place in Charlottesville.
“The tragic events in Charlottesville today accelerated the announcement I intended to make next week,” that he will be taking the next steps required to remove the statues, Gray announced on his Facebook page.
A similar action has taken place in Baltimore, where more than 1,000 protesters marched Sunday in solidarity with Charlottesville’s counter-protesters. Mayor Catherine Pugh announced Monday that she will move forward with removing all four of the city’s standing Confederate statues.
Anthony McCarthy, a spokesperson for Pugh, told me “she is moving very quickly” in comparison to the previous mayor, who simply published a report on recommending the removal of only two of the statues. Pugh will set up a task force to begin the process of removal on Wednesday.
Pugh has already met with New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu to discuss the process he went through earlier this year when he removed four Confederacy-related statues from the city.