DECATUR (AP) – With hundreds of people watching as midnight approached, a crane moved in and took down a Confederate monument that stood in the town square of an Atlanta suburb since 1908.
The stone obelisk was lifted from its base with straps amid jeers and chants of “Just drop it!” from onlookers in Decatur, Georgia, who were kept a safe distance by sheriff’s deputies.
Mawuli Davis, a driving force behind the lobbying effort to remove the monument, watched with others as the obelisk was slowly lowered onto its side and slid to a waiting flatbed truck. Davis’ organisation, the Beacon Hill Black Alliance for Human Rights, held a demonstration in front of the monument just a day earlier, pleading for its removal.
“This feels great. This is a people’s victory. All of our young people from Decatur High School that made this happen. All of these organisers, everybody came together,” Davis told The Associated Press. “This is it. This is a victory for this country. This is an example of what can happen when people work together.”
Groups like Davis’ and Hate Free Decatur had been pushing for the monument to be removed since the deadly 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia.