University of Texas to remove Confederate statues

Rachel See, 31, of Baker, West Virginia, shouts at activists calling for the removal of a statue of Confederate general Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson after a Black Lives Matter rally in Charleston, West Virginia, US on Sunday. (Reuters photo)

AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas President Greg Fenves has ordered the removal of statues of Robert E. Lee and other prominent Confederate figures from a main area of campus, saying such monuments have become “symbols of modern white supremacy and neo-Nazism”.

Mr Fenves announced the move late Sunday night in a statement. “Last week, the horrific displays of hatred at the University of Virginia and in Charlottesville shocked and saddened the nation,” he said.

The university moved a statue of former Confederate President Jefferson Davis from its perch near the campus clock tower to a history museum in 2015. Mr Fenves now says statues of Lee, Confederate Gen Albert Sidney Johnston and Confederate Postmaster General John H. Reagan also must be moved.

The debate over public memorials for Confederate figures roared into national conversation last week after one person was killed in a clash between white supremacists and counter-protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Earlier report:

Related video (below): Tensions escalate at Dallas rally against white supremacy (Reuters)

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