A towering statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in Richmond, Virginia, is expected to be taken down on Wednesday as a symbol of racial injustice, more than 130 years after it was erected in tribute to the South’s Civil War leader.
While many other Confederate symbols across the South have been removed without public announcements beforehand to avoid unruly crowds, Gov. Ralph Northam’s office is expecting a multitude and plans to livestream the event on social media.
Gov. Ralph Northam announced plans to take down the statue in June 2020, 10 days after George Floyd died under the knee of a Minneapolis police officer, sparking nationwide protests against police brutality and racism. The plans were stalled for more than a year by two lawsuits filed by residents opposed to its removal, but rulings last week by the Supreme Court of Virginia cleared the way for the statue to be taken down.