Cooper calls for Confederate statues to be removed

Gen. John Hunt Morgan

On Monday night, a crowd of anti-racist protesters worked together to pull down the monument, which was positioned in front of Durham, North Carolina's old county courthouse. A 2015 state law prohibits the removal of any "object of remembrance" on public property that "commemorates an event, a person, or military service that is part of North Carolina's history" without legislative approval. Cooper is likely to face an uphill battle against legislative leaders, who hold veto-proof majorities. These monuments should come down.

In a release Thompson said she was the one who tied a rope around the soldier's neck so that others could pull the statue to the ground.

One organizer of the protest, Loan Tran, spoke to a local news station after the rally Monday.

At the time the statue was put in place, black residents could not vote nor safely express a public opinion about placing a Confederate memorial on public land, use the same public facilities as whites and Asian immigrants and could not legally become citizens of the United States.

Takiyah Thompson, a protester said, "People can be mobilized and people are angry and when enough people are angry, we don't have to look to politicians to sit around in air conditions and do nothing when we can do things ourselves".

After the news conference, sheriff's deputies arrived and took her away in handcuffs.

"A healthy democracy and people within that democracy should be able to say, 'This is our history.' And history is made up of actions of human beings, and human beings aren't flawless", said Jeffrey F. Addicott, who stressed he was speaking for himself and not the law school.

But a 2015 law is likely to make it hard for the Democratic governor to move any monuments, and the Republican-controlled General Assembly shows no signs of changing the law.

Governor Cooper says that Civil War history is important, but that it belongs in textbooks and museums.

In Nashville, Tennessee, dozens of activists staged a protest at the state capitol on Monday to demand the removal of a bust on display there of Nathan Bedford Forrest, a Confederate general and founder of the Ku Klux Klan.

As the crowd of people grew, so did the anger and frustration of those who felt it was inappropriate for him to be there so soon after Heyer's death.

In a report published in April 2016, the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) - a civil rights advocacy group - found that more than 1,500 symbols of the Confederacy are located on U.S. public lands, mostly in the South.

The threat to prosecute those responsible for tearing down a symbol of hate and bigotry was met with an offer for pro-bono defense from North Carolina attorney T. Gregg Doucette, who described the monument as a "statue to terrorists".

Others are calling for repeal of the law, which requires permission from the N.C. Historical Commission to remove, relocate or alter state-owned monuments or memorials.

The monument of a Confederate soldier holding a rifle was erected in 1924 and inscribed on it are the words, "In memory of the boys who wore the gray".

Seconds after the monument fell, protesters began kicking the crumpled bronze monument.

Durham police told WNCN-TV that they monitored the Monday evening protests to make sure they were "safe" but didn't interfere with the statue toppling since it occurred on county property. Durham County Sheriff Mike Andrews said he was aware of the potential for vandalism, but used restraint because of the risk of injuries if deputies moved in.

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