Asking For a Friend: What Does It Take to Pull Down a Statue?

Go Nakamura via ZUMA

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I have an engineering question. As we all know, the violence this weekend in Charlottesville originated in a proposal to move a statue of Robert E. Lee that was erected in 1924. That got me wondering: what does it take to pull down a statue like that? If I had, say, a big pickup truck, could I tie a cable around the statue, attach it to the trailer hitch, and gun the engine? Would that bring it down? How about two pickup trucks? Or does it take a lot more power than that?

How about smaller statues? Would it work on them? It would be illegal and potentially dangerous, of course, so probably it’s better for cities to just take down the statues on their own.

But I’m still curious.

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"It's that we're screwed with or without him if we can't show the public that what we do matters for the long term," writes Mother Jones CEO Monika Bauerlein as she kicks off our drive to raise $350,000 in donations from readers by July 17.

This is a big one for us. So, as we ask you to consider supporting our team's journalism, we thought we'd slow down and check in about where Mother Jones is and where we're going after the chaotic last several years. This comparatively slow moment is also an urgent one for Mother Jones: You can read more in "Slow News Is Good News," and if you're able to, please support our team's hard-hitting journalism and help us reach our big $350,000 goal with a donation today.

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