WATCH: Protesters pull down Confederate statue in North Carolina
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August 14, 2017
A group of protesters in Durham, North Carolina, toppled a Confederate monument Monday night.
The Confederate Soldiers Monument, a granite and bronze statue dedicated in 1924, was pulled off its stone pedestal during a protest near the city courthouse Monday, a response to a weekend car attack in Charlottesville, Virginia, that followed a white nationalist rally protesting the removal of a Robert E. Lee statue from a local park. That attack killed one woman and injured 19 others.
Before and after pictures of the confederate monument outside the old Durham County courthouse. pic.twitter.com/6fZdBShCnr
— Derrick Lewis (@DerrickQLewis) August 15, 2017
According to WRAL: “A man used a ladder to reach the top of statue, which had been sprayed with cooking spray by authorities to make it more difficult to climb, and it was pulled down with a rope.”
The inscription on the statue said it was erected “In Memory Of The Boys Who Wore The Gray.”
Footage of the incident showed protesters spitting and kicking at the statue after it fell. Shouts of “No KKK! No fascists! USA” are heard in videos posted to Twitter. Protesters then marched to the police department nearby, WRAL reported.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper responded to the incident on Twitter: “The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments.”
The racism and deadly violence in Charlottesville is unacceptable but there is a better way to remove these monuments #durham – RC
— Governor Roy Cooper (@NC_Governor) August 15, 2017
In 2016, a study by the Southern Poverty Law Center documented more than 700 Confederate statues and monuments across the country. North Carolina has 90 of those monuments. In all, the analysis said, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia have more than a third of the remaining Confederate symbols in the nation.
These statues are found primarily in the former states of the Confederacy, but historian and author Edward Ayers told the NewsHour that there wasn’t a widespread effort to memorialize Confederate soldiers until decades after the Civil War. This is partly because the period between the 1890s and World War I was when Confederate veterans were dying.
“And their daughters, United Daughters of the Confederacy, took main responsibility for making sure that they were not forgotten,” Ayers said. “They raised money in small towns and large cities all across the South to put up these memorials to the Confederate soldiers.”