Posted on June 10, 2021

Charlottesville City Council Votes to Remove Confederate Statues

Gregory S. Schneider, Washington Post, June 8, 2021

The Charlottesville City Council voted unanimously Monday night to remove statues of Confederate generals Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson from public parks, starting the clock ticking on the demise of monuments at the heart of the deadly “Unite the Right” rally in 2017.

The council had decided to remove the statues shortly after the white-supremacist rally in which one counterprotester was hit by a car and killed. But a small group of citizens filed suit and a judge granted an injunction that prevented the statues from coming down.

The state Supreme Court threw out that lawsuit in April and cleared the way for Charlottesville — or any other locality in the state — to pass judgment on the fate of its Confederate icons.

No current member of the City Council was serving at the time of the original vote, so the body decided to hold a public hearing and then vote again before proceeding.


“It’s past time for those things to come down,” community leader Don Gathers said. Like many other speakers, he urged the city to move quickly and not to send the statues to another community.


“If my trash ends up in a neighbor’s yard, it’s still trash,” Gathers said. “Those things are like the Bat-Signal for white supremacists.”

Several speakers urged the council to have the statues gone before the Aug. 11-12 anniversary of the 2017 rally, saying they consider them to be a public safety hazard because they continue to be a rallying point for right-wing extremists.


The council’s resolution, which passed after 11 p.m., allows a 30-day period to accept proposals from the public for what to do with the bronze figures. {snip}