Protesters in North Carolina have toppled a long-standing statue of a Confederate soldier.
Activists on Monday evening used a rope to pull down the monument outside a Durham courthouse. Video footage posted online shows protesters — some white, some black — kicking the crumpled bronze statue as dozens of people in the crowd cheered and chanted.
The Durham protest was in response to a white nationalist rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. Authorities say one woman was killed Saturday after one of the white nationalists drove his car into a group of peaceful counter-protesters.
A United Daughters of the Confederacy website says the Confederate Soldiers Monument was erected in 1924.
On Monday, bowing to pressure from all sides, President Donald Trump condemned white supremacist groups by name, declaring "racism is evil" after two days of public equivocation and internal White House debate over the deadly race-fuelled clashes in Charlottesville, Virginia.
In a hastily arranged statement at the White House, Trump branded members of the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists who take part in violence as "criminals and thugs." The groups are "repugnant to everything that we hold dear as Americans," he said.
In his initial remarks on the violence on Saturday, Trump did not single out the groups and instead bemoaned violence on "many sides." Those remarks prompted stern criticism from fellow Republicans as well as Democrats, who urged him to seize the moral authority of his office to condemn hate groups.
Trump, as a presidential candidate, frequently came under scrutiny for being slow to offer his condemnation of white supremacists.
His strongest denunciation of the movement has not come voluntarily, only when asked, and he occasionally trafficked in retweets of racist social media posts during his campaign.
His chief strategist, Steve Bannon, once declared that his former news site, Breitbart, was "the platform for the alt-right."
White nationalists had assembled in Charlottesville to vent their frustration against the city's plans to take down a statue of Confederate General Robert E Lee. Counter-protesters massed in opposition.
Alt-right leader Richard Spencer and former Ku Klux Klan member David Duke attended the demonstrations. Duke told reporters that the white nationalists were working to "fulfil the promises of Donald Trump."
With inputs from AP
Published Date: Aug 15, 2017 07:25 am | Updated Date: Aug 15, 2017 07:25 am