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Wednesday, July 8, 2020

People speak out after NC Confederate monuments pulled down, Gov. Cooper orders removal

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — They stood at the State Capitol for more than a century but on Saturday, work crews pulled down two more Confederate monuments. Ordered by Gov. Roy Cooper for what he said were “safety” reasons, workers Saturday removed other monuments at State Capitol grounds — a statue to the North Carolina Women of the […]
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RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) — They stood at the State Capitol for more than a century but on Saturday, work crews pulled down two more Confederate monuments.

Ordered by Gov. Roy Cooper for what he said were “safety” reasons, workers Saturday removed other monuments at State Capitol grounds — a statue to the North Carolina Women of the Confederacy and a statue of Henry Wyatt, the first Confederate soldier to die in battle.

“This is definitely a joyous occasion, especially in lieu of Juneteenth and what took place last night,” said activist Kerwin Pittman.

Pittman is referring to Friday night’s protests.

Protesters tore down two bronze statues of Confederate soldiers from the 75-foot tall North Carolina Confederate monument. One statue still remains at the very top of the monument.

Crowds then dragged the statues through the streets, even hanging one on a traffic light.

“I may not agree with so much how it came down, but sometimes it takes real action for people to realize and it was to that point,” said resident Anne Goodson. “I think it was a long time coming and I think the atmosphere was right when it happened.”

People came Saturday to see the sights themselves. Not everyone was in agreement.

“Disrespectful. Disrespectful to the city of Raleigh,” said resident Charlie Patterson.

Patterson said the monuments serve as reminders of the need for education.

“Now that it’s torn down, what do you look at to show the disruption that was in the lives of people so many years ago?” said Patterson.

Others said the removal allows the community to move forward.

“In my mind, those monuments is symbolic to racism, white supremacy tenants, hate, slavery, death, murder,” said Pittman.

Cooper released the following statement:

“I have ordered the Confederate monuments on the Capitol grounds be moved to protect public safety. I am concerned about the dangerous efforts to pull down and carry off large, heavy statues and the strong potential for violent clashes at the site. If the legislature had repealed their 2015 law that puts up legal roadblocks to removal we could have avoided the dangerous incidents of last night.

“Monuments to white supremacy don’t belong in places of allegiance, and it’s past time that these painful memorials be moved in a legal, safe way.”

Pittman said it should’ve happened sooner.

“This is not a pat on the back moment because you should’ve been stood on the side of just, mercy and right,” said Pittman.

North Carolina Capitol Police, NC DOT and Raleigh police all assisted in the removals.

It’s not clear where the statues are being stored.

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