The statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from a local park in Charlottesville, Virginia will officially be removed after the council voted for the Emancipation Park where the Jackson statue stands to be “re-designed”, ejecting in effect the statue.
The vote would also expedite the planned relocation of the statue of Robert E. Lee, which became the object of white nationalist demonstrations in mid-August that led to the death of a woman after a car rammed into a group of anti-protesters.
The public hearing prior to the vote was marked by protests and chants of “let her speak” when during a chaotic period the council cut off a woman who was trying to speak about the resolution during other business. The council voted by voice after 11 p.m. A design firm was asked to be in charge of the said redesign that will be key to the statue removal.
The City Council last month agreed to consider a resolution to remove and relocate the Jackson statue and to hasten the removal of both the statue and one honoring Robert E. Lee. The Lee statue happened to be at the center of the August 12 protests. 19 other people were injured in the said protests. It is believed that the calls for the immediate statue removal were a knee jerk reaction against the violence that occurred in August, and that the council was under pressure from anti-white nationalists to have it removed.
The City Council voted 3-2 in February to take down the Lee statue in Lee Park, but the city was sued in March to stop the removal. It was also proposed for the statues to be in a museum instead.
Both statues were covered in black tarpaulins late last month as a symbol of mourning for Heather Heyer, who was killed in the August rally.
Tuesday night’s vote also comes in the wave of other Confederate statues and other monuments being taken down across the country in reaction to the Charlottesville event. President Trump pinned the blame on “both sides” for the violence that erupted.