A controversial statue of a Confederate soldier has been taken down by officials from the center of a prominent square in Georgia, leading to protests in the area.
The removal of the monument at McDonough Square, which was more than 100 years old, began Tuesday night, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
Crews managed to take down the statue of the soldier, Col. Charles T. Zachry, after nearly two hours.
The removal was approved by officials in Henry County earlier this month.
Around 200 protesters congregated at the scene in McDonough to oppose the statue’s removal. Some of the demonstrators were armed, according to local news outlet CBS 46.
“It’s not really a racist thing to us it’s just a historical thing,” one person told the TV station.
Others supported the removal, with another person, Brittany Baker, telling the outlet, “They should definitely take it down.”
Authorities kept protesters three blocks away from the scene of the removal, so they did not witness the statue coming down, according to the Journal-Constitution.
Officials reportedly arrested at least one person for obstruction.
It’s the latest Confederate monument to be taken down in the United States amid the widespread protests against racial injustice throughout the country.
“I am overjoyed on this historic night when Henry County officially embraced diversity and inclusion in the week civil rights icon Congressman John Lewis will be laid to rest,” said Stockbridge City Council member Elton Alexander.
The monument is believed to have gone up in McDonough Square — located about 30 minutes outside of Atlanta — in 1910 or 1911.
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