In the wake of the George Floyd protests, attention has turned to monuments of Confederate fighters, of which there are over 700 across the country. In many places, such statues have been vandalized and even toppled by protesters. In others, local governments have forced their removal.
In Raleigh on Friday, protesters converged on a city monument that honors the men who fought for the Confederacy and hung yellow ropes around the necks of the two soldiers depicted on the monument. Police arrived and removed the ropes, then cleared out the protesters.
They reconvened later, and a protester climbed the monument and began to attempt to dislodge one of the soldiers. Someone on the ground tried to convince the protesters not to vandalized the statue, leading to fisticuffs.
Eventually, the protesters were successful and toppled both.
One, that of an artillery soldier, was dragged through the streets of the city before being taken to the Wake County Courthouse. At one point, a man pushed his knee into the statue’s neck, a reference to the death of George Floyd, who died after a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into the man’s neck for over 8 minutes. Protesters also put a sign on his chest listing the names of black people killed by police.
The other statue, that of a cavalry soldier, was later hanged by the neck from a lamp post.
Police later recovered the statue that had been taken to the courthouse, driving it away in a golf cart. The fate of the second statue remains unclear as of this writing. Further, police have made at least one arrest in connection with the vandalism as of this writing.
It remains unclear, at present, if the monuments will be repaired.
Raleigh was not the only city that was the scene of protesters toppling a Confederate monument on Friday night. As previously reported by The Inquisitr, about 300 miles away, in Washington, D.C., protesters toppled a statue of Albert Pike, the only statue of a Confederate fighter to have stood in the nation’s capital, and set it on fire. Pike’s service in the Confederacy was brief and unremarkable, and he later made a name for himself as a poet and as an advocate for the rights of Native Americans. In Washington, police did not intervene as the statue came down, but they did put out the fire.