Baltimore Took Down Its Confederate Monuments Overnight

The mayor "decided it was time and ordered it be done overnight."

On this morning, my city lurches forward in a way that only happens when the cost of inertia is made clear. Thank y…

Baltimore hasn't wasted any time removing its monuments to the Confederacy.

Just one day after the city council voted to immediately remove four Confederate statues in the city, social media posts showed crews taking the monuments down and carting them away in the middle of the night.

"Mayor Catherine Pugh announced earlier this week that the Confederate Monuments would be removed," a spokesperson for the mayor's office told BuzzFeed News. "She decided it was time and ordered it be done overnight."

In the early hours of Wednesday morning, journalists and activists started posting videos of city workers preparing to topple the Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson Monument in Baltimore's Wyman Park Dell.

Confederate Monuments coming down tonight; right now. Lee Jackson has caution tape around it. Police here

They're locking the monument in before lift off... #ByeLee #ByeJackson

Soon after, videos showed the giant statue, which depicts the two Confederate generals on horseback, being carted away on the back of a truck.

By the time the statue came down, a small crowd had gathered to celebrate its removal.

Activists atop the Lee Jackson statue base.

Earlier, journalist Baynard Woods tweeted that another Confederate monument had been dismantled.

Though not a direct homage to the Confederacy, the monument commemorated Supreme Court Justice Roger B. Taney, author of the infamous Dred Scott decision, which upheld unrestricted slave ownership, and ruled that slaves and emancipated black individuals could not be US citizens.

"Somewhere in the great eternal ether, Dred Scott is sitting with a scotch and cigar," David Simon, creator of the HBO series The Wire, tweeted, responding to the Taney statue's removal.

Confederate Soldiers and Sailors monument and the monument to Confederate Women

The Baltimore removals come as several cities hasten to dismantle their Confederate monuments in the wake of the violent white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend. The demonstrations, organized to protest the city's removal of a Confederate statue, resulted in the deaths of three people, including a young woman who was killed when an alleged white supremacist drove his car into a crowd of liberal activists.

Since then, elected officials in Lexington, Kentucky, and Gainesville, Florida, have announced plans to remove local Confederate statues. In Birmingham, Alabama, where state law prevents the removal of these monuments, city officials have veiled them from sight. And in Durham, North Carolina, protesters took it upon themselves Monday to topple a Confederate statue during a demonstration.

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump forcefully defended Confederate monuments, as well as the groups that have mobilized, often violently to prevent their removal.

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The name of Baltimore's Wyman Park Dell was misstated in an earlier version of this post.

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