Protesters damage & deface Confederate monument in Atlanta (VIDEO)
A monument to American reunification in Atlanta, Georgia was damaged and splattered with red paint by a group of activists who demanded its removal, citing racially motivated violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Several dozen activists marched into Atlanta’s Piedmont Park on Sunday evening and gathered around the Peace Monument, defacing it with red spray paint. Video from the scene shows one masked activist climbing on top of the statue and wrapping a chain around it. At one point, a piece of the monument fell on one of the protesters.
The protest was organized by All Out Atlanta, which the Atlanta Journal-Constitution described as a collection of “progressive and other left-leaning groups,” including “antifa” and Black Lives Matter.
“Liberal society has blood on its hands,” the group said in a press release cited by the newspaper. All Out Atlanta also accused the American Civil Liberties Union of being “spineless” for defending “fascists’ right to assemble” in Charlottesville.
Saturday’s ‘Unite the Right’ rally in Virginia included marchers carrying Nazi flags and white nationalist symbols. Police banned the rally after clashes between the “alt-right” marchers and “antifa” and Black Lives Matter counter-protesters. Later in the day, a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing one and injuring 19. The driver was arrested and charged with second-degree murder.
Anger over that turn of events was evident in Atlanta, where a group of black-clad, masked “antifa” activists shouted abuse at a lone police officer trying to stop them from tearing down the Peace Monument. The Journal-Constitution reported that Black Lives Matter protesters shielded the officer, who was African-American, from “antifa” activists.
One person "who spoke briefly of reconciliation was met with boos and catcalls,” the paper reported.
On Monday, the group that erected the monument in 1911 said it would raise money for repairs. John Green, a former commander of the Old Guard of the Gate City Guard, said that removing the monument from the city park was “not an option.”
Georgia was one of the eleven states that seceded from the US in 1861 and joined the Confederacy in protest over the election of Republican President Abraham Lincoln, who advocated the abolition of slavery. The war fought between 1861 and 1865 claimed over 600,000 lives.
The monument in Piedmont Park shows a Confederate soldier surrendering his rifle to a figure of an angel. The Gate City Guard, one of the militias that fought in the war and later formed the seed of the Georgia National Guard, commissioned the statue as a symbol of reunification 50 years after the war began.
“Cease firing, peace is priceless,” says a sign on the statue’s pedestal.
According to the official Georgia tourism site, at the monument’s dedication in 1911, “over 50,000 veterans from both the North and the South, many of whom once fought each other, marched in a parade down Peachtree Street" to Piedmont Park.