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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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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