‘It is long overdue:’ Community has mixed reaction to Lee Monument ruling
RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - With the Virginia Supreme Court ruling that the Robert E. Lee Monument can come down, there are people happy with the decision and others angry because they hoped it would stay up.
“I think it is long overdue. I was hoping to see the cranes in action immediately,” said Winnie Canup, who works near Monument Ave. “My daughter sent me a text that the court decision had come down.”
Canup says the summer of 2020 was an important time as the Black Lives Matter Movement remained at the forefront. Canup says she is simply glad to hear about the court’s decision.
For Peter Faragasso, making his way to Monument Avenue after the announcement was ‘worth the time.”
“I think it is a shame it went up in the first place, as with many other monuments,” said Faragasso. “It is a really painful part of our history. I don’t think these monuments need to be up to remember the history. This is glamourizing a traitor to the country, who fought to tear it apart.”
The Virginia Flaggers are among those who have fought to keep the statue up. In a Facebook post, they blasted the Supreme Court of Virginia for the decision.
Lawrence West, COO of BLM RVA, is among those who have occupied the Lee circle for more than a year, renaming it Marcus David Peters Circle.
“It is going to be a joyful day, a joyful time, a joyful experience [when it comes down],” said West. “I am anticipating them taking it down before an injunction can be filed.”
West says he admittedly is most excited to see the fencing around the monument come down. He also wants to see the pedestal preserved.
“Once they take it down and they take down the fence, it can become a community space again,” West explained. “I mean, we’ve been out here a year and a half...we were inside of the circle, people came and try to power wash, we never lost any ground, the art is still up, the expression is still there.”
West says the pedestal, which has been seen all over the world, represents artistic expression and “the revolution of our time.”
“They should put the man on the horse - I am not going to say his name - in a deep part of the ocean. The pedestal itself, they should put it in a museum,” said West. “For real, I wouldn’t care if they gave the man on the horseback to the family of the man on the horse.”
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