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After Charlottesville, Mayor And City Council Take Steps To Remove Baltimore's Confederate Monuments

BALTIMORE (WJZ) -- After the weekend violence in Charlottesville, two Confederate monuments in Baltimore were vandalized.

Some say the monuments should be removed from public spaces, because of what they stand for.

Ava-joye Burnett reports city leaders took a step tonight to remove the remaining monument.

Politicians passed a resolution that called for the immediate deconstruction of monuments, but some average citizens were more direct -- they want to see the monuments torn down.

The disdain for Confederate monuments is now on display in Baltimore, as two Confederate monuments were vandalized -- one with paint.

RELATED: Confederate Monument In Baltimore Covered With Paint

The weekend violence in Charlottesville resurrected a movement in Maryland.

"The folks that are displayed in on these monuments were traitors to the United States of America," says Baltimore City Councilman Brandon Scott.

On Monday night, council voted unanimously to deconstruct all four monuments that showcase Confederate history.

"It's really important to point out that these are monuments to the Confederacy and this is about lifting up people who fought to keep other people in chains," says Baltimore City Councilman, Zeke Cohen.

The city's last leader added plaques in front of the monuments, acknowledging that they are part of the movement to perpetuate the beliefs of white supremacy. But, the current administration says, these aren't enough.

"Let's make this a transparent process, and make sure that we remove them. It's not about destroying them, it's about removing them, and that's what we're going to do," says Mayor Catherine Pugh.

"You can't censor history. You don't want to forget about it. You definitely don't want to repeat it. I don't think this is the place for it, for sure," says Kristen Wymer.

For now, a city still divided on how to handle these controversial pieces of Confederate history.

After paint was thrown all over a Confederate monument in Bolton Hill, the area became a place for a public discussion about history.

"If we are going to start with this, it's so much stuff that's going to get taken down," says one woman.

"Doesn't mean it shouldn't be done."

One woman believes the sins of the past could be repeated if these statues are out of sight and out of mind.

"The most horrific thing about this neighborhood is that two blocks up it's like a danger zone, that's the most horrific thing, now you all have all this attention on this red paint on this statue. Who cares!" she says.

There are others who believe these statues embolden white supremacists to commit acts of violence.

"I'm not a big fan of any of these monuments and I think this, especially with the red paint on it, it looks more symbolic of how I see it, I think there is a lot of blood on the hands of the Confederacy," says Charlie Vascelliaro, from Baltimore

Monday's resolution in City Hall is mostly symbolic.  It calls for the immediate deconstruction of the monuments, but the mayor said there was a recommendation that the Maryland Historical Trust has to give permission to removes at least one of the statues.

The mayor says when these statues do come down, she won't make the removal dates public in order to avoid clashes like those in Charlottesville.

Mayor Pugh says she's reached out to mayors in other cities and local contractors to talk cost and logistics of moving the monuments possibly to Confederate cemeteries in Maryland.

She says she's spoken with the mayor of New Orleans about the monument removals there. It cost the city $2.1 million dollars.
She estimates the price tag will be lower here.

The mayor also said the monuments could potentially be moved to Confederate cemeteries.

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