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24 Jun, 2020 14:14

Anti-racism protesters in Wisconsin tear down statue of… anti-slavery hero (VIDEOS)

Anti-racism protesters in Wisconsin tear down statue of… anti-slavery hero (VIDEOS)

With vandals targeting ‘problematic’ statues across the US, a crowd in Madison, Wisconsin vented their fury on an unlikely target: A memorial to Hans Christian Heg, an immigrant who died fighting against the Confederacy.

Born in Norway in 1829, Heg arrived in the US 11 years later. He later joined the Republican Party and became known as an anti-slavery activist, as well as the leader of an anti-slave catcher militia. Fighting for the Union during the civil war, Heg was fatally wounded at the Battle of Chickamauga, and had a statue erected in his honor in 1924.

That same statue was lashed with chains and torn down by rioters on Tuesday night. After it came crashing to the ground, the figure was unceremoniously rolled to a nearby lake and dumped, as the crowd cheered.

The city’s ‘Lady Forward’ statue was also toppled and dumped. Intended to symbolize the virtues of “devotion and progress,” the piece was a 1990s replica of a monument standing since 1895.

The unrest in Madison kicked off when police arrested a black man who’d brought a baseball bat into a restaurant in the area earlier that day. As crowds clamored for the man’s release, the violence was not just aimed at inanimate objects: Democratic state Senator Tim Carpenter was attacked when he attempted to take a photo of the protests. Carpenter told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel that he was punched numerous times and kicked in the head.

Rioters also smashed storefronts, set fires, vandalized cars, and, in one case, beat up a passerby, seemingly at random.

In the month of protests and riots that followed the death in Minneapolis of George Floyd, monuments to slave-owning politicians and Confederate war heroes have been pulled down across the country. Though President Donald Trump has threatened the vandals with tough jail sentences, the destruction has been endorsed by prominent left-wing pundits and journalists.

However, in their rush, the mobs have chosen some puzzling monuments for removal, among them a statue of President Ulysses S. Grant in San Francisco. Despite Grant’s role in ending slavery and his prosecution of the Ku Klux Klan, Grant came crashing down last week. Another abolitionist, Matthias Baldwin, had his likeness defaced in Philadelphia, while protesters in Boston vandalized a memorial to African-American soldiers in the Civil War. Even more confusingly, activists in Austin, Texas, attacked a statue of blues musician Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Also on rt.com ‘They hate America’: BLM protesters earn scorn for tearing down President Grant & national anthem lyricist statues

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