Baltimore Just Took Down All of Its Confederate Statues Overnight

“It’s done. They needed to come down,” Mayor Catherine Pugh said.

Jerry Jackson/AP

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

The city council of Baltimore approved a plan Monday to remove Confederate statues from public spaces. By Wednesday morning, all four of the city’s memorials honoring Confederate leaders were taken down. 

“It’s done,” Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh said early Wednesday. “They needed to come down. My concern is for the safety and security of our people. We moved as quickly as we could.” 

Several journalists on the scene documented the monuments’ removals:

The swift action comes in the wake of the white supremacist protests in Charlottesville, Virginia, where organizers of the “Unite the Right” rally were objecting to the removal of a Confederate-era statue honoring Robert E. Lee. One woman was killed when a suspected white supremacist drove a car through a crowd of counter-protesters. 

On Tuesday, President Donald Trump again drew fierce condemnation over his now-repeated claim that multiple sides were behind the Charlottesville protests, not just neo-Nazis and white nationalists. He also attacked what he described as the “alt-left” for the violence.

Trump on Tuesday also appeared to criticize the renewed movement to remove Confederate statues, asking at what point would proponents be satisfied in their efforts. “Was George Washington a slave owner?” he asked in a chaotic press conference Tuesday. “Are we going to take down statues to George Washington? What about Thomas Jefferson?”

As the president equivocated over hate groups and where to place the blame for Charlottesville, cities across the country have ramped up the process to remove Confederate monuments and flags from its public spaces.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

Thank you!

We didn't know what to expect when we told you we needed to raise $400,000 before our fiscal year closed on June 30, and we're thrilled to report that our incredible community of readers contributed some $415,000 to help us keep charging as hard as we can during this crazy year.

You just sent an incredible message: that quality journalism doesn't have to answer to advertisers, billionaires, or hedge funds; that newsrooms can eke out an existence thanks primarily to the generosity of its readers. That's so powerful. Especially during what's been called a "media extinction event" when those looking to make a profit from the news pull back, the Mother Jones community steps in.

The months and years ahead won't be easy. Far from it. But there's no one we'd rather face the big challenges with than you, our committed and passionate readers, and our team of fearless reporters who show up every day.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.