Charlottesville readies for removal of Confederate statues

National & World News

FILE – The statue of Robert E. Lee is seen uncovered in Emancipation Park in Charlottesville, Va., on Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2018. Charlottesville said in a news release Friday, July 9, 2021, that the equestrian statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee as well as a nearby one of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will be taken down Saturday. (Zack Wajsgras/The Daily Progress via AP)

RICHMOND, VA (Associated Press) — Crews in Charlottesville are preparing to remove a Confederate statue that became a rallying point for white supremacists and helped inspire their violent 2017 rally in the Virginia city.

Saturday’s removal of a statue of Gen. Robert E. Lee and another of Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will come nearly four years after violence erupted at the August 2017 “Unite the Right” rally.

Peaceful counterprotester Heather Heyer was killed in the violence, which sparked a national debate over racial equity.

The city announced its plans to hoist away the statues Friday after a long legal fight held up the removal plans for years.

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