Richmond is taking down Confederate statues: Is this the end for other Confederate memorials?

U.S. 2020/6/5

RICHMOND, Va. – The statue of Robert E. Lee has towered over Richmond for more than 100 years. In recent days, though, it´s been conveying a different message - words like "Black lives matter" are covering its stone pedestal.

At least a hundred people gathered on a muggy Thursday afternoon near the monument to the Confederate commander after Gov. Ralph Northam announced it was to come down "as soon as possible."

Protesters on Monument Avenue have circled the Lee statue and four others – also soon to be removed – in recent days as demonstrations have erupted around the United States over racial inequality, police brutality and the deaths of many black Americans, including George Floyd. He was killed after a white police officer held his knee to Floyd´s neck for more than eight minutes, as other officers stood by.

James Kelley, 29, has been attending the protests in Richmond. "I think also just being that we were the capital of the Confederacy, if anyone´s going to lead by example, it needs to be us," said Kelley, wearing a bright yellow bicycle vest with the words "Justice for George Floyd."

Demonstrators spray painted the Lee statue and the others of J.E.B. Stuart, Jefferson Davis, Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson and Matthew Fontaine Maury. They wanted to see them come down after years of the monuments being protected by state law,

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