BALTIMORE, MD. (WUSA9) - At the Wyman Park Dell in Baltimore, a large pedestal sits empty where Robert E Lee and Thomas "Stonewall" Jackson once stood. The stone block is now covered with graffiti, both celebrating and denouncing the downfall. This removal, which happened in the middle of the night, was one of four confederate statues stripped away in the dead of the night.
Also removed was a monument to The Confederate Women's Monument on West University Parkway, The Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument on Mount Royal Avenue, and the Roger B . Taney Monument, on Mount Vernon Place.
Removing these statues, were city contractors and workers. Mayor Catherine Pugh was seen at the statue overnight, watching the removal process. Despite the late hour, dozens gathered at the statues, primarily to celebrate the action.
"We need to destroy these symbols," said Ryan Harbey.
"But more importantly we need to destroy these systems that maintain racism today," Harbey added.
The removal comes days after the Baltimore Council passed a resolution for the "immediate deconstruction of these monuments." At that meeting, there was considerable debate about whether the statues should be moved, or destroyed all together.
Wednesday morning, WUSA9 spoke with one woman who was frustrated by the decision. Using a marker, she wrote on the monument the words "Are We Helping?" She said as a young artist, she was concerned about the "deleting of history," especially because the monument is one of the first created by a woman.
Harbey said that this removal was a good start.
"It's something the city decided to do based on a popular situation in the country which is a big discussion about racism. And a big social mobilization of protest for these kinds of changes to occur. So monuments are a good start. Now we need to start changing policies."
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