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SPLC Applauds Virginia Supreme Court Ruling to Allow Removal of Charlottesville Confederate Statue

MONTGOMERY, Ala. - Today, the Supreme Court of Virginia ruled that the city of Charlottesville can remove its statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, the focal point for the Unite the Right rally in 2017, from public display.

The following statement is from SPLC Chief of Staff Lecia Brooks:

“We applaud the Supreme Court of Virginia for finishing the work that Charlottesville citizens started after choosing to remove this symbol of white supremacy from public view.

“Above all, we celebrate the courage of Charlottesville citizens and honor counter-protestor Heather Heyer, who stared down hate in their city. Their tenacity and perseverance led to historic events in 2020: the overturning of the prohibition on the removal of Confederate war memorials, which contributed to the removal of 71 Confederate symbols in Virginia.

“Similar preservation laws designed to protect Confederate symbols, which glorify a system of racial oppression and exclusion, continue to deny the will of communities in Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.

“As we celebrate Charlottesville’s long-awaited victory, we also encourage these states to follow Virginia’s lead: stop promoting white supremacy and stop feeding the false narrative that the Civil War was fought for something other than to preserve the institution of chattel slavery. Give citizens the authority to decide what they want to see in their public spaces.”