A number of Confederate symbols across the southern part of the United States have been vandalised amid nationwide protests against the police killing of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
City officials and defenders of Confederate monuments have also decided remove some statutes, which civil rights activists say are reminders of institutional racism, segregation and slavery. Other monuments have been torn down by protesters.
The city of Birmingham, Alabama, removed a 115-year-old Confederate monument near the site where four Black girls were killed in a racist church bombing in 1963.
The graffiti-covered, pocked base of the massive Confederate monument was all that remained on Tuesday after crews dismantled the towering obelisk and trucked it away in pieces overnight. Other symbols came down elsewhere, leaving an empty pedestal in Virginia and a bare flagpole in Florida.
“I’m glad it’s been removed because it has been so long, and we know that it’s a hate monument,” said Sarah Collins Rudolph, 69.
“It just represented the hard times back there a long time ago,” she said.
“The things that we were fighting for in the 60s aren’t solved yet,” said Rudolph, who testified against Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in the bombing that claimed the life her sister. “We shouldn’t be treated the way they treat us.”
In Alexandria, Virginia, the United Daughters of the Confederacy removed the statue of a soldier gazing south from the Old Town since 1889.
Outside Tampa, Florida, a Sons of Confederate Veterans chapter lowered a huge Confederate battle flag that has long flown in view of two interstate highways.
Several confederate symbols have been removed across the South following the 2015 murder of nine Black people at a church in South Carolina by Dylann Roof, a white supremacist. Many of those symbols have found new homes on private property.