Story at a glance
- Protests against police brutality targeting black people have rocked the U.S. since last week.
- Confederate monuments have been targeted by protesters as examples of institutionalized racism.
The deaths of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor have catalyzed multiple protests across the nation, propelling discussions about systemic racism, police brutality and white supremacy into the forefront of the national dialogue amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In what started as a protest movement in Minneapolis following Floyd’s death after a police officer kneeled on his neck for more than eight minutes, sibling demonstrations have since erupted across the country and the world in solidarity.
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Birmingham, Ala., home to historic and significant civil rights events that occurred during the 1960s, saw similar movements over the weekend in response to police brutality against black Americans.
On Sunday night, local outlets reported that as protesters in Birmingham marched through Linn Park, near the town of Hoover, they damaged a statue of Charles Linn, a Confederate States Navy captain during the Civil War.
Birmingham where confederate monument was just taken down pic.twitter.com/nXXiNZ3rfr— Daniel Uhlfelder (@DWUhlfelderLaw) June 1, 2020
WBRC reports that the statue was toppled with a rope, truck and manpower. Demonstrators reportedly shouted expletives calling for the monument to come down as the protests draw attention to the institutionalized oppression of black Americans.
Once the statue of Linn was torn down, protesters cheered and later vandalized it with spray paint.
They’ve got one statue down in Birmingham. Protesters are currently working on pulling another monument down with a truck. Footage from @WBRCnews #birminghamprotest #BlackLivesMatter Watch live on Facebook. History being made. pic.twitter.com/Mf5L4oTVHo— Hannah Campbell (@Hannahcbell23) June 1, 2020
Other Confederate monuments have been targeted during the protests following Floyd’s death, with monuments in former Confederate states like Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Mississippi being vandalized over the weekend.
Other memorials in Washington, D.C., were vandalized as well during the protests.
The debate over whether Confederate monuments should stay standing in the U.S. predated the protests following Floyd's death, with states like Virginia voting to remove state protections for Confederate memorials and monuments. Others states, like Maryland, recently unveiled new statues of black civil rights icons, such as Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass in government buildings.
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