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Protesters in D.C. topple statue of Confederate general

Congress takes down Confederate portraits
Congress takes down Confederate portraits 00:35

Protesters in Washington, D.C., toppled the district's only outdoor statue of a Confederate general late Friday night. According to CBS affiliate WUSA, protesters tore down and then set on fire a statue of Confederate Brigadier General Albert Pike, which has stood in Judiciary Square since 1901.

President Trump condemned the action in a tweet overnight, calling for the protesters to be "immediately arrested."

"The D.C. Police are not doing their job as they watch a statue be ripped down & burn. These people should be immediately arrested. A disgrace to our Country!" Mr. Trump wrote. The president has expressed his opposition to removing Confederate statues and renaming military bases named after Confederate generals.

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People stand around the statue of Confederate general Albert Pike after it was toppled by protesters at Judiciary square in Wahsington, D.C., on June 19, 2020. ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty

However, Eleanor Holmes Norton, the district's delegate to Congress, told WUSA "there is no one who will speak up for Albert Pike."

"We usually don't take statues down this way, there was a better way to take it down. But if anybody's statue deserved to be taken down in the nation's capital, Pike's statue deserved to come down," she said.

The Council of D.C., the local governing body for the district, previously asked Congress to remove the statue, which was a federal monument on federal land.

"Ever since 1992, members of the DC Council have been calling on the federal gov't to remove the statue of Confederate Albert Pike (a federal memorial on federal land). We unanimously renewed our call to Congress to remove it in 2017," the Council's account said in a tweet.

Large numbers of demonstrators have gathered in D.C. for weeks to protest police brutality and racial injustice. Protesters across the country have called for the removal of Confederate statues and symbols.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Thursday that she had ordered the removal from the Capitol of four portraits of former House speakers who served in the Confederacy during the Civil War. The portraits were removed later on Thursday afternoon.

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