CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Several hundred people gathered in Marion Square, in the historic South Carolina city of Charleston, early Wednesday to watch the removal of a statue of former vice president and slavery advocate John C. Calhoun.
Officials voted unanimously Tuesday to remove the statue from the downtown square, the latest in a wave of actions arising from protests against racism and police brutality against African Americans.
Some onlookers grew restless just after 1 a.m. and began to leave just before crews used bucket trucks to soar more than 100 feet (30-meter) in the air to the top of the statue to make preparations for its removal. Another piece of equipment that appeared to have pulleys attached was being raised to the height of the statue from Calhoun Street, the roadway that marks the southern border of the square where the statue sits and also bears his name. Crews also appeared to be removing the plaques that adorn the four sides of the pedestal on which the monument and statue sit.
Council members approved the measure 13-0 at a late-day meeting. The resolution authorized the removal of the statue of the former U.S. vice president and senator from South Carolina.
City officials said eventually that the Calhoun statue will be placed permanently at “an appropriate site where it will be protected and preserved.”
Just before midnight on Tuesday the Charleston Police Department tweeted that, “Calhoun Street between Meeting Street and King Street is closed for the removal of the John C. Calhoun statue," adding that the street will be closed for several hours.
About 1 a.m. Wednesday, workers using massive cranes began to bring the statue down. A few hundred people gathered at the scene, mostly in favor of removal.
The vote comes a week after the...