The Charlottesville City Council in Virginia is poised to vote Tuesday night on the removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson from a local park. The move comes just weeks after deadly violence broke out at a white nationalist rally there in protest over the planned removal of another Confederate monument.
The city council last month agreed to consider a resolution to remove and relocate the Jackson statue and expedite the removal of both that statue and one honoring Robert E. Lee. The Lee statue was at the center of white nationalist protests in mid-August that led to the death of one woman after a car plowed into a group of anti-protesters. Nineteen others were injured.
The resolution under consideration Tuesday evening says the statues “have become flashpoints for white supremacist violence throughout the summer of 2017.”
The city council voted 3-2 in February to take down the Lee statue in Lee Park, but the city was then sued in March to prevent the removal of the statue. Virginia currently has a state law that prohibits removing certain war memorials.
The resolution calls for removal of the Jackson statue “as soon as possible” pending a successful resolution of that court case.
Charlottesville City Council member Bob Fenwick told NBC affiliate WVIR that he will vote to move the statue.
“They should be in a museum. If people stop and think, we have no statues, that I know of, to George Washington in Charlottesville, and yet none of us have forgotten his history,” he said. “So this argument that we have to keep it to preserve history, to me, is irrelevant.”
Both the statues of Lee and Jackson were already covered in black tarp late last month, in a symbol of mourning for the woman who was killed at the rally.
Heather Heyer was among the group of counter-protesters at the Aug. 12 demonstration where white supremacists, white nationalists and other members of the far-right convened in the city to protest the decision to remove the Lee statue.
Tensions ran high during the council’s previous meeting, where an emotional crowd yelled at officials over authorities’ handling of the rally and eventually took over the meeting.
At one point during that meeting, the mayor, vice mayor and three council members fled and two protesters holding a sign reading “blood on your hands” jumped on the chamber’s dais, according to WVIR.
Tuesday night’s vote comes as Confederate statues and other monuments are being taken down across the country in response to the events in Charlottesville.
President Donald Trump was criticized by both political parties for his response, which blamed “two sides” for the deadly violence.