Crews removing Confederate monument in Birmingham’s Linn Park
Soon after a 7 p.m. curfew went into effect in the city of Birmingham Monday night, demolition crews arrived at the 52-foot-tall Confederate Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Linn Park and began work to remove the structure from where it stood since 1905.
Around 8:30 p.m. Monday night, officials said removal of the monument would take many hours.
A little after 10 p.m., the first piece - the top part of the obelisk - was brought down to the ground and loaded to a flatbed semi. After 11 p.m., the middle part of the structure was down and loaded.
This comes about 24 hours after protesters in the park damaged and attempted to bring the monument down themselves. They did succeed in bringing down a statue of Confederate veteran Charles Linn, for whom the park is named.
The protest was in response to the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis last Monday while in the custody of police.
The monument has been the centerpiece of a legal battle between Birmingham and the state of Alabama in recent years.
The base of the monument was covered with plywood on orders of former Birmingham Mayor William Bell in late 2017. Bell said he thought the monument was offensive and ordered it covered because he feared it would lead to violence.
The plywood covering remained around the monument until Sunday night when protesters removed it during their attempt to bring it down.
In November 2019, the Alabama Supreme Court reversed a circuit court decision fining the city of Birmingham $25,000 for violating Alabama state law protecting historical monuments.
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Just before demo crews arrived, there were a few people who stayed out past the curfew of 7 p.m. They were asked to disperse by police. Those who did not were soon arrested.