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story.lead_photo.caption Workers remove a monument dedicated to the Confederate Women of Maryland early Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, after it was taken down in Baltimore. Local news outlets reported that workers hauled several monuments away, days after a white nationalist rally in Virginia turned deadly. (Jerry Jackson/The Baltimore Sun via AP)

BALTIMORE — Confederate monuments in Baltimore were quietly removed and hauled away on trucks in darkness early Wednesday, days after a violent white nationalist rally in Virginia that was sparked by plans to take down a similar statue there.

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh told The Baltimore Sun that crews began removing the city's four Confederate monuments late Tuesday and finished around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday.

"It's done," Pugh told the newspaper. "They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could."

Video taken by WBAL-TV shows workers using a crane to lift the towering monument to Robert E. Lee and Thomas J. "Stonewall" Jackson onto a flatbed truck in the dark.

Pugh said Monday that she had contacted two contractors about removing the monuments, but declined to say when they would come down, saying she wanted to prevent the kind of violence seen in Charlottesville, Virginia. Pugh said at the time that she wants the statues to be placed in Confederate cemeteries elsewhere in Maryland.

A commission appointed by the previous mayor recommended removing a monument to Marylander Roger B. Taney, the Supreme Court justice who wrote the Dred Scott decision denying citizenship to African-Americans, as well as a statue of two Virginians — the Confederate generals Lee and Jackson.

Instead, former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings Blake put up signs calling them propaganda designed to falsify history and support racial intimidation.

Baltimore's swift removal of the monuments comes days after what is believed to be the largest gathering of white supremacists in a decade — including neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They descended on Charlottesville for a rally prompted by the city's decision to remove a monument to Lee.

Violent clashes broke out between white nationalists and counterprotesters and a woman was killed when a car plowed into a crowd of people who were there to condemn the white nationalists.

Read Thursday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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  • DoubleBlind
    August 16, 2017 at 8:32 a.m.

    Kudos to Pugh for handling this in the most intelligent, drama free way possible. Every mayor and governor with the same issue should immediately take a page from her book.

  • skeptic1
    August 16, 2017 at 8:35 a.m.

    What's next the Jefferson Memorial and the Washington Monument? These idiots will insist that history books be stripped of any reference to anyone that was a slave owner, or might have been a racist, but not the Native American because, well who cares apparently. Nearly all of our Founding Fathers were slave owners, we know in our age how horribly immoral that was but in their time it was the norm. The Native people on this continent were all but annihilated but where is that outrage? Rather than play the victim card Native Americans are building casinos, AA's should follow the example that the best revenge is to live well and prosper. No one ethnicity in this country deserves special treatment and demanding that they do incites racism.

  • RBear
    August 16, 2017 at 8:46 a.m.

    Skeptic, different context and several on the right are taking their cues from a dumb president who can't seem to get his head around that either. Confederate statues honoring military leaders venerate their role in a rebellion to preserve the state's right of men to own men, women, and children. That is much different than the actions of those who legally owned them at the time. It's different than those who opposed civil rights.
    It doesn't negate the actions of the others, but by taking down the statues we are no longer honoring them for their service to a rebellion against the Union. It would be like Germans in America putting up a statue of Hilter and Rommel to honor their leadership as Nazis.
    Why is this so hard for the Trump demographic to get its head around?

  • DoubleBlind
    August 16, 2017 at 9:18 a.m.

    Skeptic - I would have thought you and those of like mind would approve of Pugh's approach. She's simply relocating confederate monuments from public spaces - where the would no doubt be vandalized or destroyed - to private confederate spaces, in this case cemeteries, where they can be preserved, observed and appreciated by all who wish to do so. I fail to see any flaw in her approach. It's a clean, inexpensive, intelligent win win for everyone involved.

  • TimberTopper
    August 16, 2017 at 9:36 a.m.

    skeptic1 is a new name for libertas2u. The name has changed, but the mentality hasn't.

  • mozarky2
    August 16, 2017 at 9:49 a.m.

    Racist democrats of today erasing the racist legacy of the racist democrats of yesteryear.
    The democrats have replaced the KKK with Antifa as their terror arm.

  • mozarky2
    August 16, 2017 at 9:53 a.m.

    Flame away, "progs", since you can't point out any untruths in my posts.

  • RBear
    August 16, 2017 at 9:59 a.m.

    Moz, you are so challenged with context it's hard to debate you. I bet you flunked connect the dots in school.

  • Dontsufferfools
    August 16, 2017 at 10:31 a.m.

    Don't understand the rebel statues. We don't have statues to Cornwallis or King George, or Bismarck or Hitler, all of whom tried to destroy us with armies. So why Lee? There were lots of Americans during the revolution who wanted to stay with the monarchy. Their descendants aren't worshiping statues of King George today. About all this Southern obsession is getting us are people like Dylann Roof. And anyone stomping around with a Nazi flag should be roundly denounced by the VFW and American Legion.

  • LR1955
    August 16, 2017 at 10:51 a.m.

    Skeptic1 has a good point....what's next ? What else are we going to take down or hide in the corner to spare our memories ?
    Idiocy happens when mob mentality takes over, amplified by the media.