The statues of Confederate Gens. Robert E. Lee and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson will come down Saturday morning.
The city has been working toward the removal of the century-old bronze statues for years. A change in state law and a Supreme Court of Virginia decision paved the way for the recent effort. Councilors voted June 7 to remove the statues.
Follow for updates on the day’s events.
Lee statue is removed, 8:30 a.m.
The crew started loading the statue onto a flatbed truck at approximately 8:12 am and drove away at 8:30 am. More onlookers gathered as the statue was removed. The crowd burst into applause and cheers as the statue was removed from its base and again when the truck drove away.
The statue will be in city storage until City Council votes on what will happen to them.
The truck was escorted by Charlottesville Police in unmarked cars and on bicycles.
A few onlookers sang and chanted as the statue was lifted onto the truck
One onlooker shouted “goodbye General Lee! And good riddance!”
A few onlookers joined in singing “hey hey, goodbye” as the statue was removed from the base.
Removal begins on Lee statue, 7:30 a.m.
A crane arrived to remove the Robert E. Lee statue at about 7:00 am. A crew member began unscrewing the statue from the pedestal at approximately 7:25 am. By 8 a.m. red straps were wrapped around the structure. The statue was off its pedestal at 8:05 a.m.
Around 7:00 am, Zyahna Bryant, who started the petition to remove the statues while in high school, addressed the crowd of dozens.
“This is well overdue. We are standing in a park where the city is still refusing to address civic issues … the statues are just the tip of the iceberg,” Bryant said.
Mayor Nikuyah Walker also spoke, thanking City Council and city officials for their dedication to this removal.
“This is one step closer to reaching the goal of Charlottesville, Virginia and America grappling with its sin of being willing to enslave Black people,” Walker said.
Walker said that this is just a small step and that more needs to be done to address white supremacy within the city and beyond.
Newport News-based firm to remove statues for Charlottesville, 6:20 a.m.
Team Henry Enterprises, the company that removed Confederate statues in Richmond last summer, will do the same for Charlottesville, the city announced early Saturday morning.
Team Henry Enterprises also won the bid to remove the University of Virginia’s George Rogers Clark statue. UVa has not said when that statue will go.
The city, which didn’t put out a public request for construction firms, awarded the contract on an emergency basis. The city has not specified what the emergency is or the cost of the contract.