These are two statues of Confederate generals. In 2017, a neo-Nazi motorist ran over a group of anti-racist protesters, killing a 32-year-old woman.
On Saturday, the American city of Charlottesville removed the symbols of slavery and the racist past by dismantling several controversial statues, including those of two Confederate generals, which was the origin of the deadly clashes between right-wing activists and racist protesters in 2017.
General Robert Lee, leader of the pro-slavery southern army during the Civil War, and General Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson, both in uniform and on horseback, were found in two small parks near the historic center of this city. The state of Virginia.
The municipal workers dismantled the two statues with a crane to the cheers and applause of several dozen people.
"Removing this statue is a small step toward helping Charlottesville, Virginia, and the United States face the sin of having gone so far as to destroy black people for profit," said City Mayor Nikuyah Walker. Before the start of operations.
In August 2017, hundreds of right-wing members protested against the municipality's plan to remove the statues, which many see as a symbol of America's racist and enslaved past.
At the end of the demonstration, there were clashes between white supremacists and retaliatory protesters.
A neo-Nazi sympathizer hit the anti-racist militants with a car, killing a 32-year-old woman, Heather Heyer, and wounding dozens of people.
The then President of the United States, Donald Trump, created an avalanche of criticism by condemning the violence on both sides.
The city has announced that the statues will now be preserved until the city decides its fate—the state of Virginia.
Since the murder of African American George Floyd by a white police officer in May 2020, many monuments to the glory of the Confederate army have been removed.
Charlottesville erected a statue of a Confederate soldier in 1909 in September 2020.
Another statue, located in the center of the city and representing explorers whose discoveries led to expanding the white population to the west to the detriment of indigenous communities, was also dismantled after an emergency vote in the city council this noon.
The decision to dismantle it was made in 2019, but "we decided to take the opportunity to have the equipment and personnel available" this Saturday, a spokesman for the municipality told AFP.
A fourth statue will be dismantled on Sunday on the campus of the University of Virginia, a spokesman for the institution told AFP.
It represents a general who fought against the British army and then after the war against the Indian tribes to expand the white settlers.